Draft Capsule: CB Dwayne Gratz

Draft Capsule: CB Dwayne Gratz
April 15, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Mark Strotman

Dwayne Gratz (CB), Connecticut 

5-11 | 201 lbs. 

2012 Stats:

53 tackles, 3 INT, 14 passes defended 

Projection:

4th round 

Strengths:

Has the numbers to go with his accolades, earning second-team All-Big East honors in each of his final two seasons at Connecticut. He has solid size for the position and it blends well with his impressive speed (he ran an unofficial 4.35 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine). He was a four-year starter for the Huskies and is always in good position to make a play in both coverage and against the run. Believe it or not, Connecticut ranked No. 10 in the country in total defense last year, and Gratz was a big reason why. Did 22 bench-press repetitions at the combine, proving his strength and large hands (10.5 inches) will make him a physical cornerback wherever he winds up.

Weaknesses: 

Is prone to allowing the big play as he lacks some fundamentals and can get turned around while guarding receivers. Despite his physical demeanor, he's not all that aggressive. This allows receivers to successfully run shorter routes. Didn't play against the best of the best in the Big East, so his numbers may be skewed in that regard.

Fit for the Bears:

Ask Charles Tillman if the Bears enjoy physical cornerbacks who play just as well against the pass as they do against the run. Gratz's stock has been improving--some mocks have him going as early as the second round--and with depth an issue Gratz makes sense for the Bears if he's still around on Day Three. That may not be the case, but Gratz has the blue-collar style to him that has made the Bears' defense famous the last decade. If he improves his fundamentals and learns to be more aggressive, the physical tools are there for Gratz to succeed...potentially in Chicago.