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Vincent Gray signs with the New Orleans Saints as UDFA

Gray jumps to the next level after an up-and-down career in Ann Arbor.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 Big Ten Championship Game - Michigan v Iowa Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former Michigan corner Vincent Gray signed an undrafted free agent deal with the New Orleans Saints following the 2022 NFL Draft.

The senior started last season for the Big Ten Champion Michigan Wolverines and was improved under the switch from Don Brown’s scheme to more zone looks. Gray is not an elite athlete, but has good fundamentals and technique that forces receivers to make tough catches.

While Gray started for most of 2020 and 2021 with decent consistency, it is games on each end of the past two years (a very, very bad afternoon against Michigan State and a drubbing by Georgia in the College Football Playoff) that will stick with many fans. Gray was never a shutdown corner, but he did his part last season and does not deserve all of the ridicule he often receives.

Still, it has to be said that even as a returning starter, Gray would have faced some real competition for playing time next season. With a bevy of young corners either moving into year two or stepping on campus, Michigan has some higher ceiling prospects at corner.

Gray will have to battle it out for a spot on the Saints roster, but given his experience and build, coaches should give him a good look. He showed improvement from 2020 to 2021 and perhaps he can keep progressing. He is unlikely to ever be a CB1 in the NFL, but at the very least there should be a rotational role for him ahead.