While a lot of the focus on the 2024 NFL draft circles around Drake Maye for North Carolina, it’s a player on the defensive side of the ball that is getting some more hype.
Linebacker Cedric Gray is a player that is coming off a monster season in 2022, being one of the best tacklers in the Power 5. Gray earned All-ACC honors for his play a year ago and now going into this season, he’s hoping to up his draft stock a little bit.
Pro Football Focus released their list of 10 linebackers to watch for the 2024 NFL draft and right there included on that list was Gray:
Gray flew around North Carolina’s defense this past year on his way to becoming a PFF second-team All-American.
The senior made first contact on a ball carrier 122 times, which was 15 more than the next-closest defender in college football. It was also the best single-season mark by a Power Five player in the PFF College era.
Gray has developed into a really good linebacker for the Tar Heels since arriving on campus a few years ago. He’s also moved into a leadership-type role on the defense and if UNC wants to make a run this year, they are going to need Gray and others to play at a very high level.