49ers draft SMU WR Danny Gray at 105

The 49ers close out the third round of the 2022 draft by selecting SMU wide received Danny Gray with pick 105.

Overview

Two-year starter on the FBS level with athleticism and play speed to project a continuing ascent at the next level. Gray stepped into a top playmaking role for SMU in 2021 and showed an ability to work all three levels of the field. His long, gliding strides separate from coverage on attack-oriented routes but he has the bend and agility to become a quality target working underneath. He needs to get a little stronger and limit the focus drops, but Gray has an inside/outside skill set with intriguing upside as a future WR3 with more work.

Strengths

  • Explosive and loose-limbed with three-level ability.
  • Sinks into soft spots of zone, making himself presentable.
  • Bends and swipes for quick slip of press.
  • Routes filled with athletic movements.
  • Long, fluid strider in space.
  • Maintains speed through turns and route stems.
  • Relentless hand fighting as needed inside the route.
  • Gains late separation to haul in contested deep throws.
  • Plus catch-and-run talent.
  • Makes effort to find positioning as blocker.
  • Kick and punt return ability.

Weaknesses

  • Below-average wingspan for NFL wideout.
  • Needs additional play strength to battle bully corners.
  • Disoriented finding football against physical coverage.
  • Drifts through stems, allowing coverage to drive and contest.
  • Focus drops pop up on in-breaking routes.
  • Dropped would-be touchdowns passes in 2020 and 2021.
  • Inconsistent vertical push on intermediate patterns.

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