Danny Gray will thrive more than you think

The 49ers selected the speedster from SMU with the last round of the NFL Draft pick, and here’s how Danny Gray can make an immediate impact.

About a month ago, new San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Danny Gray popped up on a Niner Noise article about a potential Day 3 steal that could possibly target him in the NFL Draft.

Sure enough, the Niners had that exact same idea.

The end of Round 3 is close enough to the third day to consider it prophetic, and San Francisco is now facing the kind of deep threat the roster has had since Marquise Goodwin.

Read More: This Day 3 draft pick has the best chance to make the 49ers roster in 2022

This is at the heart of why Gray could be a player who has an impact right away with the team.

OK, he’s not going to give you 50 catches in 2022 (most likely not at least), but he does have a packed offense headlined by the elite yards-after-the-catch duo of Deebo Samuel and tight end George. Kittle, with Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings continuing to develop.

But while they’re all good at what they do, Gray is going to be the one who really helps stretch the defense.

The move to the Trey Lance era will add a much more vertical aspect to what is essentially a West Coast offense up to now. While you shouldn’t expect the 49ers to move away from the scheme that has been successful under head coach Kyle Shanahan, you should expect the Rocket arm of Lance to make teams warier than the Niners beating them over the top.

But to do this, they need the sort of player that Gray is.

If Gray had better hands, he would have been selected on Friday night a lot earlier than he was, but otherwise, he has the elite speed to make teams respect the deep ball while still having the ability to contribute to the offense that values ​​YAC. in its receivers.

Drops are always a problem, but the Niners are going to be able to work with him about that. Kittle is a guy who almost never drops the ball, and he is going to be able to work with him on that technique.

At the end of the day, Gray doesn’t have to be a top target or even a second target for San Francisco. He just has to do his role as a deep threat, even if it is to contribute to a decoy. The fact he doesn’t have to be a rebuilding team on the main guy but instead be a system player on top offense with multiple All-Pros where almost no one is paying attention to him.

And if he can even contribute just 30 catches for 400 yards and a few touchdowns or so, that is the sort of rookie season that’ll show he can play the role he needs the 49ers.

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