Displays average power on his bull rush and can create leverage for himself and push the pocket one-on-one. But is a real linear pass rusher who lacks the ability to quickly change directions and slip blocks. Isn't real aware off the snap, gets off the ball too late at times and allows his pad level to rise too quickly into blocks.
Lacks ideal instincts vs. the run game, keeps his head down and even when he does fend off a block, too often struggled to find the football and will take himself out of plays. Works hard to shed blocks inside and has some violence to his game vs. the run.
Possesses above-average anchor strength inside, but even one-on-one makes most of his plays after the initial surge down the field. Has learned how to anchor and shed consistently at the line at this stage.
Impression: A thick, squatty interior lineman who possesses a pretty good first step for his size and displays some range in pursuit. Is a linear pass rusher with some natural power in his lower half vs. the run. But, looks more like a late round/FA type who will be a borderline roster guy."
Positive: Large, athletic defensive lineman who forces the action when he gives effort. Bends his knees, gets leverage on opponents and shows power in his lower body. Consistently doubled in the middle of the line yet displays the ability to hold the point or get push up the field. Fires off the snap with a terrific first step, explodes through the gaps and can be a dominant force.
Negative: More of a straight-line defender and lacks the quick or immediate change of direction. Does not play with a great degree of urgency. Possesses minimal moves with his hands and easily controlled by ordinary opponents.
Analysis: Gray has the strength and athleticism to be used in a variety of interior defensive line positions and has flashed dominance the past three years. Yet despite this he does not consistently play at a high level and all too often leaves scouts thinking he's capable of much more. Possesses the tools to play in the NFL but must quickly pick up the intensity."
Negatives: Not a pass rusher... Not real explosive... Slow foot speed... Squatty... Top heavy... Overruns too many plays... Gets too far upfield... Can be pushed away from the action... Lowers his head... Plays too high... Marginal change of direction agility... Not real instinctive... Marginal awareness... Has trouble locating the football... Inconsistent... Doesn't always give the best effort."
As an upperclassman Gray built on his sophomore success. His sack numbers decreased, but he turned into a much more effective tackler. Even when he was not making plays himself, Gray was pushing the line; in a league like the Conference USA (where most teams are quite pass heavy), Gray would force quarterbacks to make quicker throws than they would prefer. Through 11 games in the 2010 season, the story has been pretty much the same. Opposing offenses are often double teaming Gray, forcing other players to get into the backfield and make plays. While the sack numbers are still down, Gray is continuing to emerge as a fine run stuffer.
At 6-0 and 317 pounds, Gray could be a nice fit in a 4-3 defense at the next level. There are certainly bigger, stronger and faster tackles in this class, but Gray is an experienced lineman who can stuff the run or, with some work on pass rushing moves, get into the backfield. Barring a surprising workout or two leading up to the draft, Gray will likely be a late round selection."
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