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A Former NFL Player's Assessment of Danny Gray

He looked like one of the best players on the field, but he wasn't facing any veterans. That will change next week when OTAs start.

The most intriguing 49ers rookie after one offseason practice has to be Danny Gray.

He was the star of rookie minicamp, catching four passes and scoring a long touchdown during 7 on 7 drills. He looked like one of the best players on the field, but he wasn't facing any veterans. That will change next week when OTAs start.

To get a sense of what to expect from Gray once the competition gets tougher, I spoke to former NFL cornerback Eric Crocker. Here's what he said about Gray:

"I see someone who doesn't necessarily play to his speed throughout routes, and for a lot of guys who are really fast, that's the thing they have to learn the most. When I watch him and I watch defensive backs, they're not threatened by his speed. At all. They cover him like he's closer to a 4.6 than a 4.3. I'm watching to see if they're in a rush to get upfield, if they're bailing on their technique, are they timid to get hands on the receiver? When I was watching guys against him, there was none of that. To me, they weren't really respecting his speed. Now, if you throw on a highlight and you see him catch a post or a crossing route and outrun people, you see his speed from that standpoint. I get it. But when you put on the film, I didn't see pop on a consistent basis at all. 

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"That's not saying he can't be good. That's just saying those are things he needs to work on. And if he does, he'll be a much better overall receiver. And I heard in rookie minicamp he caught some passes and did well. Those are things you want to see carry over to training camp, because now he's going to be going up against more seasoned guys such as Emmanuel Moseley and Charvarius Ward and maybe even Jimmie Ward and Jason Verrett. These guys won't be scared of his speed at all. These are guys that are going to really challenge him. He has to take his game to the next level, and that's what the offseason is for. If he can just learn to play with more high-end controlled speed, then he'll be awesome."

Watch Crocker's full breakdown below.