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49ers make SMU WR Danny Gray a 3rd-round draft pick

Apr 29, 2022 at 8:28 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers selected SMU wide receiver Danny Gray with the 41st pick (No. 105 overall) in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The 49ers acquired this selection courtesy of the NFL's minority-hiring program after the Miami Dolphins hired former 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as head coach.

Gray registered 49 receptions for 803 yards and nine touchdowns through 10 game appearances as a senior in 2021, per Sports Reference. He caught 82 passes for 1,251 yards with 13 touchdowns through his two collegiate seasons.

Gray is from Dallas, TX. He earned a pre-draft grade of 6 from NFL.com, which equates to an "above-average backup," per the site's 8-point grading scale.

At the NFL Scouting Combine, the 5' 11 7/8" and 186-pound Gray had a 40-time of 4.33 seconds, a vertical jump of 34 inches, and a broad jump of 126 inches. His other measurables include an arm length of 31 7/8 inches and hands measuring 9 5/8 inches.

At his school Pro Day, Gray had a 40-time of 4.59 seconds, a vertical jump of 36 inches, and a 20-yard shuttle time of 4.51 seconds.

NFL.com projected Gray to be a third- or fourth-round draft pick.

Below is the NFL.com draft profile bio on Gray:

Gray was a first-team all-district player his senior year at James Madison High School in Dallas, as well as a state champion in the 100-meter dash and 4x100-meter relay. He wound up at Blinn College (located between Austin and Houston) for two years and came out rated as one of the top junior college prospects in the country (54-877-16.2, eight TDs in nine games as a sophomore). Gray started eight games in his first year with the Mustangs, catching 33 passes for 448 yards (13.6 per catch) and four scores and contributing as a rusher (3-30-10.0, two TDs) and on special teams (9-180-20.0 kick returns; 2-26-13.0 punt returns). He was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference selection in 2021, leading SMU with 803 receiving yards (49 receptions, 16.4 per rec.) and tying for the team lead with nine touchdowns in 10 starts. Gray missed the final two games of the season with an ankle injury. He opted out of the Fenway Bowl to prepare for the NFL draft but the game was eventually canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. -- by Chad Reuter

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, who compares Gray to Demarcus Robinson, wrote the following within his scouting report:

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.

Joe Marino of The Draft Network wrote the following about Gray within his scouting report:

Danny Gray was a top JUCO recruit with opportunities to play in the SEC and Big 12 but opted for SMU where he became a productive option in the wide-open Mustangs' passing game for two seasons. Gray is an explosive playmaker that thrived within the spacing of the SMU offense, taking advantage of built-in leverage where his ability to run away from defenders led to big plays. He makes terrific route adjustments to zone and found notable production on shallow crossers, nine routes, and quick screens. Those routes enabled Gray's best qualities in terms of speed, ball skills, and spatial awareness to shine. While Gray has the appeal of a big-play receiver in the NFL, he does have quite the transition ahead of him. There will be notably more on his plate at the next level when it comes to route tree, alignments, and overall technique. Given he has no special teams experience in college outside of a few opportunities in the return game, proving himself on special teams as he refines his game at receiver will be important for him to build upon his appealing qualities to become a more well-rounded player.


Height: 5' 11 7/8"
Weight: 186 lbs.
Arm length: 31 7/8 inches
Hand length: 9 5/8 inches

NFL Scouting Combine

40-time: 4.33 seconds
Vertical: 34 inches
Broad jump: 126 inches

College Statistics
Year School Class G Rec Yds Avg TD
2020 SMU JR 8 33 448 13.6 4
2021 SMU SR 10 49 803 16.4 9
Total SMU 82 1,251 15.3 13

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