2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Cedric Gray

  • Cedric Gray, 6-1/232
  • Inside Linebacker
  • North Carolina

Cedric Gray Scouting Report

By Charlie Campbell


  • Excellent instincts
  • Effective run defender
  • Plays downhill
  • Tackling machine
  • Very productive
  • Makes big plays despite limited athleticism
  • Sideline-to-sideline ability
  • Physical tackler
  • Physical to take on blocks
  • Quick
  • Diagnosis skills
  • Read-and-react skills
  • Fits a 4-3 or 3-4 defense
  • Always around the ball
  • Quick to the flat
  • Straight-line speed
  • Zone pass-coverage linebacker
  • Dangerous blitzer
  • Strong build
  • Durable


  • Missed tackles
  • Thick, stiff build
  • Not super athletic
  • Not a good fit to cover tight ends and running backs

Prospect Summary:

Over the past two seasons, Gray was one of the best linebackers in college football and a tackling machine for the Tar Heels. He broke out in 2021 with 99 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and three passes broken up. In 2022, Gray recorded 144 tackles, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, six passes broken up and one sack. In his final season, Gray totaled 121 tackles, five sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumbles recoveries, one interception and four passes defended.

The trait that stands out the most about Gray is good instinctiveness. Such a sixth sense is the most important necessity for any good NFL linebacker, and Gray has it. His instincts are very good as a run defender, showing the ability to read his keys and anticipate how plays are designed. There is no doubt that for the ground game, Gray is a tough defender who makes a ton of tackles for his defense. He plays downhill and physically, presenting the ability to crash down quickly with straight-line speed to make tackles near the line of scrimmage. Gray has the size, strength and toughness to take on blocks while also being able to get to the perimeter. While Gray is a good run defender, he can have some issues with missed tackles that he needs to clean up for the NFL.

Gray is a mixed bag in pass coverage. On the plus side, his instincts put him in position to make some plays. He also has serious blitzing ability and is adept at putting pressure on the quarterback. However on the down side, he is not super athletic and has some stiffness in coverage. That limits to what he can do outside of zone coverage in the middle of the field. Gray could struggle if he is isolated in one-on-ones against running backs or tight ends. Hence, Gray has some limitations for how his NFL team could utilize him in pass coverage.

In the 2024 NFL Draft, Gray looks likely to be a second-day pick. One NFC director of player personnel said they feel Gray has a shot at sneaking into the first round if he runs fast and works out well before the draft. Most likely, Gray will be a second-day prospect.

Prospect Comparison:

Leroy Hill. Some team sources said Gray reminded them of the former Seahawks linebacker Hill. Hill (6-1, 238) are almost identical in size and have similar styles of play. Hill was a third-round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft before putting together a solid career with Seattle.


Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12