The New York Giants commenced their 2023 NFL draft on an impressive note by acquiring Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks, Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz, and Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt. All three players were regarded as first-round talents, making the Giants’ acquisition of them a remarkable steal.
On Day 3 of the draft, Big Blue had to wait until the 172nd pick to secure Oklahoma running back Eric Gray. Measuring 5’9″ and weighing 207 pounds, Gray had a fruitful year with Oklahoma in 2022. As a senior, he rushed for 1,366 yards, scored 11 touchdowns, and caught 33 passes for 229 yards.
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The Giants landed a good overall RB in Eric Gray:
Gray has been compared to NFL player Miles Sanders, a decisive and inventive runner who could potentially be a three-down option at the professional level. Although he isn’t an explosive playmaker like Saquon Barkley, Gray is adept at gaining yards and running efficiently between the tackles.
Gray prefers to move north and south swiftly, employing his one-cut style to burst through running lanes and accumulate yards. He skillfully uses his agility and lateral quickness to evade tacklers without losing speed, and he exhibits above-average spatial awareness.
Concerns have been raised about Gray’s need to become stronger at the next level, but the Giants can address this issue in the weight room and through a robust nutritional program. While he may not possess top-tier breakaway speed, Gray can consistently gain yards and has a reliable set of hands out of the backfield. Although slightly undersized, Gray is a proficient pass protector who does whatever it takes to halt incoming rushers.
By securing Gray, the Giants have acquired a tenacious running back who can contribute value in various aspects. While he may not possess elite speed and might require more strength, Gray profiles as a well-rounded player who should improve with further development.