Missouri Tigers fans know that Shane Ray really needs no introduction. The 2014 SEC Defensive Player of the Year not only led the conference in sacks, but broke the school’s single-season sack record held by the likes of Aldon Smith and Michael Sam.
Now, Shane Ray prepares to enter the NFL Draft.
Ray did not participate in most exercises at the NFL Combine due to an injury, but he did perform at Missouri’s Pro Day.
Pro Day Results
South Bound & Down
-40-yard dash: 4.64 and 4.65 seconds
-Vertical jump: 33 1/2 inches
-Broad jump: 10 feet
-20-yard short shuttle: 4.53 seconds
-Three-cone drill: 7.71 seconds
While his 40-yard dash time was not what many scouts were hoping for, Ray did enough to prove that he can play on an elite level on the professional level. NFL gave him a grade of 6.69, which means he has a “Chance to become a Pro Bowl-caliber player”.
Here’s what NFL Draft Analyst Lance Zierlein had to say about Ray:
"It’s hard to find many play weaknesses for Ray, but his lack of overall length is one area that some teams have concerns about. He pursues the quarterback and the ball like it’s his last snap. An alpha male packaged in an explosive frame, Ray has the traits and skills to be a dominant pass rusher and potential Pro Bowler. He also has the athleticism and strength to play in any defensive front."
I’m not going to try to be an expert analyst, but Ray definitely passes my most important test: “The Eye Test”. Sure you can have a fine Combine, Private Workout, Pro Day, whatever, but what can you do on the field? When you get to the NFL, what you can do wearing pads will be infinitely more important than what you can do wearing spandex.
Here are some highlights from Ray’s career at Mizzou, and you’ll see what I mean.
Ray has been quoted saying he models his game after Aldon Smith, who was also a first round pick out of Missouri in 2011. While Ray is a little smaller, they both have quite the knack for getting after and terrorizing the quarterback.
Overall, I think Ray will make a fine NFL player. I don’t see him having the same success as Smith has had with the San Francisco 49ers, but Ray will be a starter in this league for many years.
Projected Draft Pick: 8th Overall (Atlanta Falcons)
This would be a good fit for Ray. The Falcons’ defense hasn’t looked great the past few seasons and Shane Ray could be their answer to making a statement on the defensive side of the ball.
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