Welcome back to the 2021 Dynasty Hidden Gems series. This will be the first entry in our 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gems series.
One of the easiest ways to quickly improve your roster is by taking calculated risks. Whether from the wire or the back-end of your opponents’ roster, there are players that are (relatively) easy to obtain that can pay HUGE dividends. Sometimes referred to as dynasty “deep dives,” these players may not seem like much on the surface, but find a hidden gem and you will unlock incredible value. Of course, if you have not yet drafted in your rookie drafts, these players can also be found in the late rounds, but still should not be overlooked especially if your roster has a little extra room.
In the worst case scenario, the player you acquire busts, but because you didn’t risk a lot of value, the hit will only slightly sting. Be smart and stay active, and you will likely find enough hidden gems to make up for all of your whiffs combined. That is doing dynasty roster construction right.
With that, I present to you the first 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gem of this season. Hailing from North Carolina’s Duke University, this tight end for the “Blue Devils” comes in as a whale of a steal. Maybe even a gray whale, if you will. In fact, gray whales are nicknamed “devil fish” for their aggressive behavior once harpooned, and if you are able to snag Noah Gray on your roster(s) you can potentially expect aggressive, physical, and BIG PLAY on-the-field productivity in future seasons to come.
The 2021 Dynasty Rookie draft class is known for having an elite tight end in Kyle Pitts, but the rest of the draft class is largely overlooked. The Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach explained that after Pitts, the position was wide-open, filled with different options with players offering different specialties. Some players were better at blocking, others receiving, but ultimately there wasn’t a player at the position that most teams unanimously had at #2. Even still, the Chiefs themselves did have their eyes set on Noah Gray from Duke. In fact, the Chiefs liked his potential so much they traded up to make sure they could grab him in the 5th round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Coming into the league at 6′ 4″, 240 lbs., Noah Gray is a fantastic athlete with great hands. He is incredibly fast for his size running a 4.55 forty time.
What makes Noah Gray a unique 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gem is that he will be learning from the best active tight end in the league in Travis Kelce. While Gray may not be a direct replacement for Kelce once he moves on, he could potentially grow into such a role. In addition to his speed, hands and size, Noah Gray is very versatile and can line up all over the field. At the next level, he can be a mismatch from the slot, and can even line-up and play halfback when necessary.
“Early on, we took a liking to Noah Gray and just saw him as a really unique inside slot receiver, H-Back, fullback. He’s a little undersized for being an in-line player, but it’s so hard to replace Travis (Kelce) when he’s not in the game because he has such a unique skill set. Noah has a similar— again you don’t want to compare anyone to Travis Kelce— but Noah has a unique skill set as a slot, bigger tight end, receiver.” – Brett Veach, Kansas City Chiefs General Manager.
2021 Outlook and Beyond
In the dynasty community, tight ends Pat Freiremuth and Brevin Jordan soak up most of the remaining spotlight after Kyle Pitts, but Noah Gray is a player to keep an eye on, just as the Kansas City Chiefs did in the NFL Draft last April. If any team in the NFL can get creative to get a playmaker like Gray involved, my money would be on the Chiefs. Andy Reid and the rest of the Chiefs coaching staff always seem to be looking one step ahead of their opponents. What better way to do that than to add in another dynamic playmaker who can be used in a number of different looks on their offense.
Granted, Noah Gray is not likely going to emerge as the starting tight end option anytime soon in 2021. However, Travis Kelce, 32, is not getting any younger, and I would not be surprised if in 2-3 years Noah Gray was positioned to be the starting tight end for Patrick Mahomes and company. That is what makes Gray a fantastic 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gem and more of a long-term play, because if you have the roster space or an extra spot on your Taxi Squad, he fits the bill for who you should stash given his big play upside and dynamic abilities.
That’s why Noah Gray should be in YOUR game plan to try to improve your own dynasty squad with an opportunity to potentially shine bright. I will regularly release more 2021 Dynasty Rookie Hidden Gems throughout this off-season. Good luck!
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