Like many other NFL hopefuls around the country, Brian Gray had a stressful weekend.

As he watched the seven-round NFL Draft unfold on television, the former BYU cornerback waited for his name to be called, but he waited in vain."I'm a little disappointed because I was expecting to be drafted," Gray said Sunday night.

By Monday, he had agreed to a free-agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals. Now, he is focused on making an impression and trying to stick on the Bengals' roster. "I just need to go to mini-camp and work hard," he said.

One of the reasons he was passed over in the draft could be his poor time in the 40-yard dash (4.8) at the NFL Combines. Gray says he wasn't in the best shape for the Combines. "I shouldn't have run. I ran and I stumbled, but I kept going," he said. "That bumped me down in the draft. But in my private workouts I ran better -- a 4.5."

While teams love Gray's size (6-foot-2, 215), he is a tweener. He's considered too slow to play corner and not physical enough to play safety. "Whereever they play me, I'll feel comfortable," he said. Gray is not a total stanger to the safety position, having played there at El Camino Junior College prior to going to BYU.

Gray was the last of the 16 free agents to sign with Cincinnati. "Wouldn't it be something if he makes the team," said Jim Lippincott, Bengals director of pro/college personnel. "And don't be surprised if he does."

Quarterback Kevin Feterik also held out hope he would be selected in the late rounds of the draft, but that didn't happen. Still, he is happy to be headed to Seattle to play under Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren -- the one-time BYU assistant.

"It's pretty cool," Feterik said. "I'm looking forward to mini-camp. It's a nice relief that the draft stuff is over, but there's a lot of work to be done." Seattle's other QBs are starter Jon Kitna and backups Glenn Foley and Brock Huard. Former Cougar Itula Mili is a backup tight end with the Seahawks.

Tight end Carlos Nuno signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins, and he is eager to be with a franchise that has a new coaching staff.

"It's a perfect place for me because they don't have a starter right now," he said. "They think they can help develop me. I block well and coming out of BYU, I understand offenses and I can read defenses."

Nuno is a good friend of former Cougar offensive lineman Joe Wong, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Dolphins a year ago then suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason.

In 1999, Nuno suffered a knee sprain against Virginia and missed several games for the Cougars. "At first, I thought my career might be over," he said. "When I found out that it wasn't as serious, I thought I might be in a position to be in an NFL camp."

You can reach Jeff Call by e-mail at jeffc@desnews.com