Former Minnesota QB Gray Fails to Impress at All-Star Game Practice

Sigmund Bloom@SigmundBloomNFL Draft Lead WriterJanuary 30, 2013

EAST LANSING, MI - NOVEMBER 05:  MarQueis Gray #5 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers looks to throw a pass in the fourth quarter of the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on November 5, 2011 in East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans defeated the Gophers 31-24.  (Photo by Mark A. Cunningham/Getty Images)
Mark A. Cunningham/Getty Images

Of all the offensive skill prospects at the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game practices in Allen, Texas, none created more intrigue coming in than Minnesota quarterback/wide receiver/tight end MarQueis Gray.

Gray entered Minnesota as a 4-star, top-15 national quarterback recruit, and went on to start at wide receiver and quarterback during his four years with the Gophers.

At the weigh-in on Monday, Gray measured 6'3 5/8" and 239 pounds, with ideal 10 1/8" hands and a very impressive 80 3/4" wingspan. He has the pedigree and measureables to fit well in 21st century NFL pass offenses that use athletic tight ends as downfield weapons to create mismatches against slower linebackers or smaller safeties.

Gray was mostly lined up in the slot for the Tuesday Nation practice, which was moved inside because of inclement weather. While he flashed fluid athleticism for such a big man, just about everything else in his game belonged on a blooper reel.

Gray dropped multiple passes, fell more than once with no contact, appeared to be extremely tentative catching the ball and generally looked like a clumsy player that couldn't possibly have had success as an offensive weapon for a big-time college football program.

Gray has the rest of the week and the game to create a better impression for the scores of NFL scouts (and one general manager, Green Bay's Ted Thompson) in attendance.

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Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported last month that Gray announced that he was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. The combine's physical testing should allow Gray to shine, but unless he looks more natural as a receiver in drills, he'll likely be destined for a spot on an NFL practice squad.


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