Fifth Round Selection RB Eric Gray
April 29, 2023
Q. How much do you know about (Head Coach) Brian Daboll and the Giants' offense and what do you think you can bring as?
ERIC GRAY: I just bring -- I'm just going to bring a lot to the offense and be able to run in between the tackles, run outside zone, inside zone, being able to catch the ball out of the backfield. I think I just bring another threat to the offense.
Q. How much contact did you have with them during the pre-draft process?
ERIC GRAY: A pretty good amount. I had a workout with (Running Backs) Coach Nixon, the running backs coach, going into the draft. Early on in the process I had a workout with him, so I would say a pretty good amount of contact with them.
Q. What do you think it's going to be like to soon be a teammate of (Running Back) Saquon Barkley?
ERIC GRAY: I've watched a lot of Saquon, me playing, I’ve watched a lot of his games, so just being able to learn from him, things that he did as a rookie being successful in the league, that's going to be very important.
Q. Did you play with (Wide Receiver) Jalin Hyatt at Tennessee?
ERIC GRAY: I did. He was a freshman when I was a sophomore.
Q. What can you tell us about him?
ERIC GRAY: Just a great, fast receiver. Very productive. You see what he did this past year bursting on to the scene. Great receiver.
Q. What does it take to be a good receiver out of the backfield? What qualities do you think that you have that make you accomplished in that area?
ERIC GRAY: Being able to, one, just having those natural hands to be able to catch and being able to route run. Me personally, I have a good feel for knowing coverages coming out of the backfield, knowing if it's man or zone or if I need to break it this way, setting crisp routes, getting to my depth. I would say I've been blessed to be a pretty good route runner out of the backfield.
Q. I saw you did some punt returns. Did they talk to you about that?
ERIC GRAY: Yes, I did, I did do some of that in my college years. I did, so that's just adding more value for myself.
Q. What would you think about early in your career being like a third down, passing down running back?
ERIC GRAY: I’ll do what it takes for the team. I’m a ‘we guy’ not a ‘me guy’ – I'll do what it takes for the team.
Q. What Giants have you heard from already?
ERIC GRAY: I haven't gotten a chance to talk to any Giants yet. I'm sure (Wide Receiver) Sterling (Shepard) will call me soon, just him being in Oklahoma, but I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him yet.
Q. What's your relationship with him?
ERIC GRAY: I have never talked to Sterling, but somebody just sent me his number -- would be a good chance to talk to him.
Q. What does today mean to you to hear your name called and end up in New York?
ERIC GRAY: It's a dream come true. It's a dream come true. I've been waiting for this day for a long time, and for it to be the Giants, it just means a lot to me, being able to, like I said, to learn from the guys that are already in the room, I’ve got a good feel for the coach when he had the private workout, Coach Daboll, I just love the Giants offense. I’m stoked about it. I can't wait to get to New York.
Q. When you say you got a good feel in that private work out what did you learn from him or why do you think you would mesh really well with Nixon?
ERIC GRAY: Just his mentality in the running back room. He wants guys that are good for the room, that are good fits for the room. He wants guys that are going to work hard and that are going to come in there and give 100 percent every day and not take a day off, and that's the kind of guy that I am. I'm going to go in there every single day and do as much as I can to help the team win.
Q. Where did you watch the Draft and where did you spend the day? When you got the call from the Giants, can you tell us about the reaction? Seemed like they have been videoing guys, doing FaceTimes. When you have experience with that?
ERIC GRAY: I'm in Nashville with my family. Me and my friends actually went for a drive when I got the call. Trying to just get out of the house for a minute, me and my friends went for a drive, and I got the call. We rushed home, everybody ran out of the house yelling. I got a chance to talk with the entire organization over FaceTime. Just a great FaceTime, for me just an unbelievable moment.
Q. What have the last few days been like for you? What did you think the likelihood that maybe you could get picked in the day two range yesterday and take us through your emotions of this whole thing.
ERIC GRAY: Definitely tried to stay level-headed though, but it was definitely a little roller coaster, thinking I could go – like you said – in day two, but ended up going today. But it's all a blessing. Now it's time to get on the field and work.
Q. I was looking at your stats. Did you carry like 549 times and never fumble?
ERIC GRAY: Yes, sir.
Q. What do you attribute that to? What is that about you that you think you have such good ball security?
ERIC GRAY: Just having awareness of the ball, knowing when you get in traffic, put two hands on it, having awareness of the defenders, where the defenders are, knowing that when you're running, defenders are trying to knock it out. Just having that awareness.
Q. Going to test your memory. When was your last fumble, do you remember?
ERIC GRAY: My last fumble, I don't know that one.
Q. Will you come with a chip on your shoulder given that you slipped to the third day?
ERIC GRAY: 100 percent. 100 percent going to come with a chip on my shoulder. I feel like I have to go prove it and be the player that I want to be in the league.
Q. Are you going to tell Daniel you know how to throw passes, too?
ERIC GRAY: (Laughs) I'm going to let him throw passes. I'm just going to take my hand offs and catch for him.
Q. What happened on your pass this year?
ERIC GRAY: (inaudible) throw my first touchdown, the route kind of got bumped off if I threw it, but at least I would have made the tackle.