TE Noah Gray, Duke
HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL): Leominster, MA (Leominster Senior)
247 RATING: .8261
POS’iTION RANK: 14
Receiving: 76 catches, 663 yards (8.7 ypc), 6 touchdowns
Receiving: 51 catches, 392 yards (7.7 ypc), 3 touchdowns
Noah Gray Breakdown
Elite and Duke don’t typically go hand in hand unless someone’s discussing college basketball. The Blue Devils football team typically gets overlooked, but David Cutcliffe has produced a number of quality, even elite players. Noah Gray returns to Durham after receiving second team All-ACC honors, and we’ll see if he can handle the new attention sent his way. He’ll no longer be an unknown player in the ACC, and teams will do what they can to try and shut him down.
Gray’s last name is similar to his game: nothing flashy and simple. As a pass catcher, he won’t beat defensive backs and linebackers deep (hence the 7.7 yards per catch), but he has just enough quickness and a good frame to keep defenders away from him. He won’t accelerate thru cuts, but they are sharp and precise, which creates a little room for him to make the catch. He thrives mostly in the short to intermediate passing game, which is great for picking up small chunks.
He plays the game with a physical mentality, and it’s what makes him successful. Even if he doesn’t win early in his routes or as a blocker, he finds a way to gain leverage. More power could be generated from his hips, but he’s tenacious as a blocker and is constantly working to control his man. He’s the definition of a competitor and he will find a way to beat his man in the long run, even if he’s not the more talented player. Stronger grip and explosion at the snap would help him win matchups early on, and make his late game effect as a blocker even greater.
Duke might not be a contender for the ACC title, but they have players worth watching. Noah Gray fits his team well, because he’s underrated and flies under the radar with his talent. He returns as the second leading pass catcher for the Blue Devils, and could see his numbers increase in 2020.