- A closer look at the Chiefs picks: Round 6/182 - Cyrus Gray, RB, 5-10, 198, Texas A&M...Gray put up back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Aggies and brings a jack of all trades history and mentality to the Chiefs backfield. His ability to run, catch, back, return and cover in the kicking game will increase his roster chances. - The Sports Xchange
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Here is a hard-working, hard-running, team-oriented athlete who will take on just about any assignment and probably do well at it.
That was first obvious at DeSoto High School in Texas, where he played running back, quarterback, receiver and returner in his last two years and accounted for 67 touchdowns.
Then, A&M head coach Mike Sherman put Gray to work as a running back, slot receiver and returner and it paid big dividends. Gray started 29 games, played in 49, collected 3,298 yards and 30 touchdowns rushing; 776 yards (103 catches) and six scores receiving; and 2,349 yards and two more touchdowns on kickoff returns. That totaled 6,423 all purpose yards at that rate of 131.08 per game.
Last year he appeared in 11 games, starting five, and managed to lead the team in rushing (1,045 yards) despite missing two games with a stress fracture in his shoulder.
He has good strength (21 reps with 225 pounds on bench press coming off bad shoulder), surprising top end speed (reportedly had best of 4.40 seconds in 40 yards at scouting combine), and is an excellent blocker and receiver.
If that's not enough, Coach Sherman says Gray is the kind of guy you would want your daughter to marry. Not sure what the NFL scouts made of that.
Inside: Lacks great size for running inside but owns a compact build with relatively thick upper body and strong legs. Runs hard every carry, side-hops to find creases inside and usually falls forward for an extra yard. Bulls through arm tackles to find the end zone or first down. Holds ball high and tight in close quarters. Lines up at fullback in short-yardage situations, churns legs and lowers pads to pick up tough yardage. Won't move piles at the next level, but can bounce off them to keep moving if allowed to.
Outside: Patient stretch runner, presses line but waits for a crease before heading upfield or cutting inside a block. Has enough straight-line speed to be a breakaway threat once past the second level. Sets up defender with a quick cut to either side without dancing, though he loses his balance when brain moves faster than his feet. Uses stiff-arm to hold off oncoming inside-out tacklers. Puts ball in outside hand on runs to either side. Improving his instincts and burst, able to avoid tacklers in the hole and turn on the jets once seeing open field. Waits too long to make a cut on some stretch runs, allowing inside-out defenders to get a hold of him.
Breaking tackles: Not the strongest back in the class, but difficult to bring down in the open field because his balance, active legs and strong upper-body allows him to run through arm tackles. Shows some shifty hips in space, can cut inside or stop short to break the ankles of would-be tacklers. Success as kick returner comes from quick cuts in open field and straight-line speed, also tough enough to bounce off poor tackle attempts and keep feet moving.
Blocking: Does more than get in the way as a pass protector. Stands up to linebackers in the backfield and will deliver a punch on quarterback draws. Lacks the size and tenacity to sustain, however. Willing to take a hit on play-fakes up the middle to protect the quarterback.
Receiving: Uses as slot receiver at times during his career because of his receiving skills, but mostly catches dump-offs in his current role. A threat on screen passes due to his speed and strength in traffic. Dances after the catch at times, does not show immediate acceleration once stopped. Inconsistent adjusting to poor throws, must secure the pass before making a move.
Intangibles: Sherman referred to Gray as a "guy you want to marry your daughter" because of his attitude and work ethic on and off the field. Accepts whatever role he is given on the team, supports teammates who may get more touches. "We" player, deflects praise to teammates.