The San Francisco 49ers closed out their Day 2 NFL Draft selections with another weapon for quarterback Trey Lance, with speedy receiver Danny Gray from SMU.
Quarterback Trey Lance will have no excuses for the San Francisco 49ers this season.
Not only is All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel seemingly staying put and another running back added to the team, but the Niners have also added speedy receiver Danny Gray via Round 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft to give Lance yet another weapon.
With this pick, the 49ers have finally assembled their receiving corps for next season and added a potent deep threat to boot.
So, who is Gray and what does he add to the team?
Let’s take a closer look at the exciting receiver out of SMU.
What 49ers are getting in Danny Gray
Let’s talk speed because you can’t talk about Gray without talking about what he did at the NFL Scouting Combine with his 4.33 40-yard time.
Gray is a speed demon, and this sort of deep threat is something lacking with San Francisco due to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo‘s deficiencies with the deep pass. Lance has no such issues here, however, and the 49ers have done well to provide a weapon he can target.
Gray isn’t a huge receiver at 6-foot-0 and 186 pounds, but that didn’t stop him from being a weapon at SMU. He had 49 receptions for 803 yards and nine touchdowns for the season and showed what a potent player he is in space.
And, aside from his speed, that is what Gray does best: perform in space. San Francisco places great importance on yards after the catch, and that’s one asset Gray does have. He tracks the ball well, and when he has room, he’s impossible to catch.
Gray did not run a big route tree with the Mustangs, and so he’s developmental in that area. He’s also more of a finesse receiver and not very strong, so don’t expect him to fight for extra yards much early in his career.
One interesting situation about him is his ability on special teams. SMU used him only sparingly in that area, but his speed suggests some capability on at least kickoffs. The 49ers added special teams help during the offseason, particularly with return specialist Ray-Ray McCloud, but don’t be surprised if Gray takes some returning reps during training camp.
Gray is the deep threat the Niners have lacked. If he fulfills his potential, San Francisco just added an extra dimension to their offense.