The last prospect that we know of to be interviewed by the Denver Broncos during the Senior Bowl week, is Cornerback Dwayne Gratz. A 5’11", 200 lb. Redshirt Senior out of Connecticut is ranked 16th out of 255 Cornerback prospects nationally and 143rd overall for the 2013 NFL Draft. His pre-Combine 40 Time is listed as 4.46 seconds. Dwayne is projected as a late 4th to early 5th round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft in April.
#7 Dwayne Gratz
Class: RS Senior
Born: 03/08/1990 (22)
An Exploratory major
Arm Length-30 7/8"
Hand Length-10 1/2"
Gratz played in 50 career games, making 41 starts in four years. He totaled 189 Tackles and eight picks for 152 yards and two scores...honored with the team's Brian Kozlowski Award, given to the player that is the most courageous, hard-working and productive.
In 2012, Dwayne started all 12 games and was named an All-BIG EAST Second Team selection for the 2nd straight season. He finished with 53 Tackles, 3.5 TFLs and led the team with 3 Interceptions to go with 11 Pass Breakups. Gratz had a 37 yard Pick Six in the season opener against UMass.
Gratz was named to the Second Team All-BIG EAST Conference team in 2011. He started all 12 games and was the fifth-leading tackler on the team with 53 stops and tied for the team lead with three Interceptions. Gratz had 4.5 TFL’s and four Pass Breakups.
He started all 13 games at Cornerback in 2010 and had a personal highlight 46-yard Interception return for a Touchdown in the 2nd quarter of the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Dwayne was the 3rd-leading Tackler on the team with 63 stops and led the team with 9 Pass Breakups.
He saw his first collegiate action in 2009 after Redshirting the 2008 season. Gratz participated in all 13 games and started four of the five final games during the regular season. He had 20 Tackles, 4 Pass Breakups on the year and a 34-yard Fumble Recovery for a Touchdown against Syracuse.
In High School, Dwayne ran track and set a school record in the 55 meter hurdles (7.5 seconds) ... Team captain.
NFL.COM DRAFT GRADE - 62.1
STRENGTHS: Gratz has good measurables with adequate height and a solidly-built frame. He is aggressive off blocks using his large hands (10.5") and quick feet to shed blocks and fight through the trash. Good closing ability, quick to attack short passes to knock them away or make the tough tackle. A physical run defender that can put his helmet on the ball or cut down ballcarriers equally well near the line or in space. He also has good Change of Direction to close off cutback lanes on run plays when uncovered. A fundamentally sound player, Dwayne was a frequent blitzer for the Huskies. He stays low in his stance and when opening up in bail coverage. and has ball skills to make plays on the ball.
WEAKNESSES: Dwayne needs to play smarter and show better route recognition as his aggressiveness can be used against him. He has a tendency to peek in the backfield a long time, which can get him beat deep and he lacks pure recovery speed to catch up. Gratz doesn’t possess the explosive footwork to quickly adjust and doesn't look natural in reverse. He needs to improve his body position and be more aggressive in coverage. Can get lazy and attempt to make arm Tackles. Content with allowing too much underneath action to limit the vertical plays.
NFL COMPARISON: Bradley Fletcher
During the Senior Bowl broadcast, the NFL Network's Mike Mayock said some teams view UConn CB Dwayne Gratz as a Safety. Gratz did his best work as a physical corner in man coverage, but at times seemed to overextend and get beat downfield or with quick movements. Every year a handful of corners are viewed as possible safety conversions, and Gratz appears to be on the list this draft season. Jan 27 - Source: Josh Norris on Twitter
"Pick 6" by UCONN Huskie Dwayne Gratz
Dwayne Gratz has NFL-quality size, strength, and agility to handle outside receivers. There are questions about his long speed and hips, making a potential move to safety a possibility in the future. He will need to work on his technique and as he possesses a good work ethic, most of his negatives can be fixed. There is a lot to like about Dwayne---speed, size, physicality and leadership (Team Captain), but I don’t really see where he fits as a Bronco. His 3rd-4th round rating looks legit though.
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