The NFL Draft Bible has been bringing you the names you need to know since 2002 and we are excited to bring you the NFL stars of tomorrow, as we count you down to the 2021 NFL Draft with our Player Spotlight Series.
The Class of 2021 tight end class is deeper than meets the surface upon first glance. There are several versatile, pass-catching threats projected to be selected in the mid-rounds who could provide excellent value as a mismatch weapon. One of those players is Duke tight end Noah Gray, who has proven to be a flexible athlete for the Blue Devils, lining up inline, at h-back, in the slot and sometimes playing the role of fullback.
After another productive season in 2020, which included 29 receptions for 285 receiving yards and two touchdowns, Gray earned an invitation to the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl, where he’ll have the opportunity to build on his mid-late round draft status. The former high school basketball standout is a smooth and fluid route runner worth monitoring in Mobile. Get to know Gray beyond the sidelines, as he spent a few minutes to speak with the NFL Draft Bible.
Be sure to check back for our exclusive on-location coverage of the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama throughout the week.
What was it like growing up in your hometown?
Did you live any other places? I bounced around from town-to-town until I was eight years old when I settled in Gardner, Massachusetts. It is a small town in central Massachusetts. I loved growing up there because I lived in a neighborhood with a lot of kids who were within a few years of me. Every day we would run around doing a multitude of activities.
When did you begin playing football and when did you realize that you have a passion for the game of football?
I started playing tackle football when I was six years old. I realized I had a passion for the game my very first practice on the field. I enjoyed the physicality and competitiveness of the game.
When an NFL scout pops in your game film, explain to us what type of player he should expect to see. Can you provide a self-scouting report?
A hard-working, disciplined player who works well with teammates, shows extreme passion for the game and does his job on every play. A four-down tight end who also contributes at a high level on special teams.
What area of your game did you work on trying to improve upon entering the 2020 season?
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, exposure to our coaches was limited. Therefore, I had to take the fundamentals I had learned over the past three years and our spring ball (cut short due to the pandemic) and applying them into my workout regimen during the offseason. I am continuously working on every aspect of my game because I can get better in all phases. Pass-blocking and run-blocking are at the top of my list to improve upon the most.
Who has been the toughest opponent you have faced thus far in your career, either overall team or an individual?
How did you fare? Alabama has been my toughest opponent thus far. They displayed a multitude of talent such as size, speed, and football IQ. I played well against them however but felt that I could have done much better.
What type of leadership intangibles do you bring to the table?
I prefer to demonstrate by example instead of verbally. By doing so, I am able to demonstrate to my peers and teammates the right ways to go about your work on and off the field. I am extremely competitive and challenge the people who work around me to be better.
Name a point during your college career when you had to overcome adversity. What did you learn from that experience?
My freshman spring, I was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. The disease has completely changed the way I viewed my diet and the effects it has on my body. I have been able to eat healthier since the diagnosis and believe that it has made me a better football player because of it. Diabetes has taught me how important it is to take care of every aspect of my life to the fullest. Due to that mindset, I have never missed a practice, weight room, session, or any other activities due to the disease.