OU Athletic Department

PRO 2023 Rookie Spotlight: Eric Gray, RB Oklahoma

Rookie Spotlight: Eric Gray, Oklahoma
Height: 5-9 1/2″
Weight: 210
Hands: 9 1/8”
Arm: 30 1/4”
40 yard dash: 4.68 (adjusted from 4.63 at OU pro day)
2023 Age: 24
NFL Comparison: Devonta Freeman, Kylin Hill

Offensive Market Share Metrics (Final Season)

Rushing Attempts: 37%
Receptions: 13%
Scrimmage Yards: 26%
Scrimmage TDs: 20%
Total Production Percentage: 24%

As a high school prospect: Class of 2019; 4-star

– One of the better receiving backs in the draft (87th percentile target share)
– Accelerates quickly
– Instinctive runner
– Explosive movements
– Compact frame leads to good contact balance
– Solid patience and vision
– Works well in space
– 2023 RosterWatch All-Senior Bowl Team

– Lacks long speed
– Half-hearted blocker at times
– Will be 24 in November

Scouting Notes:
Gray was a 4-star recruit when he signed to Tennessee, where he had 2 decent seasons before transferring to Oklahoma. His first year in Norman, Gray languished as a change of pace to Kennedy Brooks before taking the reins in 2022 when he put up 1,372 rushing yards and 11 TDs on a superb 6.5 YPC, in addition to catching 34 balls for 238 yards receiving. The keys to Gray’s success are his decisiveness as a runner and quick burst. By the time the defense gets a hand on him, he’s already traveled up the field for five yards, and his dense compact frame deflects enough contact to get him extra yardage on most attempts. Gray is also patient and anticipatory with the ball in his hands, waiting for his blocks and showing elite agility once he’s gotten through his hole. He’s able to make sharp changes of direction without losing momentum, getting upfield with ease. Once he’s into the open field, Gray is able to turn on his afterburners for a time before generally being tracked down. He doesn’t possess premier long speed and isn’t going to win many races to the endzone. That being said, Gray is extremely effective in tight spaces and chews up enough yardage to make his runs count. He’s also a capable pass catcher, operating adroitly in the screen game and out of the backfield. As a blocker, Gray has the power to be effective, but he doesn’t always throw himself into the execution of his blocks. Overall, Gray is a well rounded, consistent back with strong character.

Fantasy Outlook:
The main knock on Gray, besides his long speed, is the fact that he’ll be 24 in November. Perhaps more than any other position in the NFL, RB is most adversely affected by age, as players in that position take a lot of punishment and wear a lot of tread off their tires over a short time – If they’re any good at what they do. Still, Gray is a solid addition to any backfield, as he possesses all the traits of a complete back in the NFL if he can get his pass protection chops up to snuff. If he lands on a team with no clear cut lead back, Gray has the skill set to work his way into a starter’s role.

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