Our latest 2012 NFL Draft Prospect Profile will be on a player expected to be selected somewhere in the middle rounds. Texas A&M running back Cyrus Gray merits our attention because the New York Giants have had him in for a visit.
Let's see what the scouting reports have to say about Gray.
Positives: Swift, versatile skill player who projects as a third-down back. Patient, waits for blocks to develop and immediately finds the running lanes. Quick-footed, displays the ability to make defenders miss and uses an effective straight arm to keep runs alive. Keeps his feet moving on contact, displays a variety of moves carrying the ball and quickly regains his balance off the initial hit. Effectively follows blocks everywhere on the field, avoiding piles and displaying the ability to create yardage. Finds the cutback lanes, quickly gets through them and turns it on in a single step. Solid receiver out of the backfield extending his hands to make the reception away from his frame. Shows a nose for the end zone.
Negatives: At times does too much East/West running rather than taking the ball up the field. Does not display the speed necessary to beat defenders around the corner.
Analysis: Gray has been consistent in all areas of the game the past three seasons and is a productive ballcarrier who can fill a variety of roles. He lacks the skills to be a feature runner but should be an effective second ballcarrier on a roster.
"Gray is a well-rounded back who can block, run and catch the ball out of the backfield. He has great size and has been productive as a pass catcher throughout his career. He is highly elusive in the open field and understands the nuances of short-to-intermediate routes in the passing game. He is ideal for a screen-heavy team, as he has reliable hands and is patient when waiting for plays to develop. He likes to bounce the ball outside, sometimes too quickly, but he is effective when doing so. There are knocks on his game as an inside runner, which will keep him from getting drafted as an every-down back in the NFL. He does, however, bring value as a returner. Although not explosive, he is effective in this role. Look for him to be selected in the middle rounds."
"Gray is an intriguing prospect, but he has some limitations. On one hand, he has a lot of the tools that help make running backs extremely successful in the NFL. Gray hits the hole hard, has good patience and vision, and runs hard. He is a complete player as well: he can stay in for three downs. These all speak well to his transition to the NFL. However, there are some questions as to where he would project at the next level. Gray is not incredibly shifty, and he does not have ideal size for a between-the-tackles NFL runner. It is certainly possible for Gray to put on more weight, but doing so could limit his explosiveness. Gray does look good on tape, and he definitely should be a rotational guy at the next level. Best case, he proves to be a unique prospect and, thanks to his natural versatility, ends up having an Arian Foster-esque impact."
Cyrus Gray Profile
School: Texas A&M
40 time: 4.43
2011 Stats: 198 carries, 1045 yards, 5.3 yards per carry, 12 TDs, 31 receptions, 3 TDs