Welcome back to another edition of the New York Giants 2012 NFL Draft profile series. This version we will scout yet another running back as the Giants look to fill the hole created when Brandon Jacobs bolted for the west coast. Texas A&M RB Cyrus Gray was brought in for one of the 30 prospect visits the Giants have, so obviously there is some interest there.
It wouldn’t be crazy for the Giants to let Da’Rel Scott, who showed flashes of brilliance in the preaseason, get a chance to backup Ahmad Bradshaw. Simply because Scott was a seventh round pick does not mean he is void of talent. He slipped a bit in the draft, has good speed and vision to make it as a solid back in this league.
That said, expect Jerry Reese to have a backup plan. The Giants could target someone that would be an instant impact, or they could go after another project like Gray here.
Gray had a terrific two final years at A&M and has a ton of experience coming in to the league. He’s been getting significant carries since his sophomore season and always been a big part of the Aggies’ passing game.
He finished his career with two 1,000 yard seasons, and showed his ability to handle the load of carries when Christine Michael was hurt in the 2010 season. That year Gray ripped off seven straight 100 yard performances as A&M’s featured back, including a brilliant 223 yard game against rival Texas.
Some question Gray’s speed and strength to run between the tackles, but if his combine performance is any indication he eradicated those worries with a 4.47 40 and 21 reps on the bench. He has great vision, great top end speed, patience between the tackles and can hurt teams as a receiver out of the backfield. One thing teams should like is the fact that he played in a Pro-Style offense under Mike Sherman. The run blocking schemes at the next level will be familiar, improving his learning curve.
The Giants could be looking hard at Gray in the middle rounds, and would be getting a steal if they pick him.
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