Michigan’s Brad Hawkins, Vincent Gray, Donovan Jeter sign with NFL teams going undrafted

Five Michigan players realized their NFL dreams when their names were called during the 2022 draft.

Others have had to wait a little longer for their NFL chances.

Cornerback Vincent Gray, safety Brad Hawkins and defensive tackle Donovan Jeter were the latest to latch on to NFL teams as undrafted free agents Saturday night.

According to Pro Football Focus’ Doug KyedHawkins has a deal with the Atlanta Falcons, while Gray is signing with the New Orleans Saints, per Jordan Schultz. The Steelers announced they have signed Jeter.

The trio joins defensive tackle Christopher Hinton (New York Giants) and linebacker Josh Ross (Baltimore Ravens) ink undrafted free agent agreements.

Gray appeared to be the most likely of the group to be drafted. Like most Michigan defensive backs in 2020, Gray had a rocky season as his first season as a starter.

But the 6-foot-2, 192-pounder bounced back in 2021, finishing with 46 tackles, nine pass breakups, one sack and an interception on route to earning All-Big Ten third-team honors.

The former three-star recruit out of Rochester Adams has the prototypical size for an NFL cornerback and possesses above-average coverage skills, but there are concerns about his top-end speed.

“Gray is physically and patient in the press and has zone instincts to sort everything in front of him, but he plays a step too often and does not create ball production opportunities for himself,” The Athletic’s Dane Brugler wrote in his scouting report. “He can fill a backup role as he continues to develop or possibly move to safety.”

Hawkins set a program record with 56 games played over five seasons at Michigan, including 31 starts.

The 6-foot-1, 221-pounder was an All-Big Ten honoree in 2021 after recording a career-high 60 tackles, four pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

Meanwhile, Jeter started just four games in five years in Ann Arbor. The former four-star recruit from Pennsylvania battled injuries during his collegiate career and struggled to maintain a spot in Michigan’s defensive line rotation. His best season came in 2021, when he played in all 14 games and had a career-high 24 tackles, including two for loss.

Jeter didn’t record a sack in 37 career games.

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