With the NFL season beginning to wind down, we here at the Grill are going to start breaking down the prospects that will be in this year’s NFL draft. For more information on how are grading works, please visit the prospects Page linked here. This will be one of many scouting reports to come. We will begin by profiling the major prospects in the draft and over time we will expand to cover some small school prospects and hopefully, come draft time, we will have about 100 profiles on prospects.
Name: Shane Ray
Position: 4-3 Defensive End, 3-4 Outside Linebacker
Weight: 245 Pounds
College: University of Missouri
Class: Redshirt Junior
2015 Stats: 65 Tackles, 22.5 Tackles for Loss, 13 Sacks, 5 QB Hurries, 1 Pass Breakup, 3 Forced Fumbles
After the jump you will get a breakdown of Shane Ray’s pro’s and con’s as well as our grade for Ray.
Pros: Ray is an unbelievable pass rusher with a refined set of pass rushing moves. He has great athleticism and hip bend and uses his hands very well to get by the blocker. He has a nice bull rush and has a frame that could add weight easily. He has multiple years of elite level production and comes from a school that has a history of producing great pass rushers. He has an incredibly explosive first step and is excellent in pursuit.
Cons: He like Vic Beasley, lacks the ability to consistently play the run. This is due to both a lack of functional strength as well as a lack of play awareness. At Missouri, he was strictly used as a pass rusher and therefore, he needs to learn to identify running plays and play outside contain. He also does not have much experience playing in coverage so any 3-4 team that drafts him would need to expect a year or two for him to adjust to the position.
Our Take: Ray is a very similar prospect to Vic Beasley but he has a better natural frame and a little more strength at this point. He has more of an ability to play at a defensive end spot in a 4-3 then Beasley does due to his better frame and he has more strength at this point. However, in order to be anything more than just a pass rushing specialist, Ray will have to devote himself to the weight room and the film room, as he needs to add both strength and an understanding of playing the run. By all accounts, he appears to be a hard-working kid and I could see him reaching his full potential sooner rather than later.
Final Grade: 92 Out of 100
Ray is a slightly better and more refined version of Vic Beasley at this point with slightly more positional flexibility and therefore he grades out slightly higher. At worst, he will be an elite pass rusher can add strength and an understanding of the game, he will become a consistent, dominate every down defensive end or rush linebacker. I think he is best fit to play as a defensive end because I am not sure he can develop his pass coverage skills.
Possible Draft Spots: Ray is currently projected as a top five to ten pick although we think that is not where you can find value with him. Some teams that will consider him are the Jaguars, Raiders, and Redskins in the top five and it is unlikely he falls out of the top ten. However, I believe he is a reach at those spots and would provide better value in the 10-20 range, where the teams have more talent to surround him with and can use him in the role he is best fit for now, that of a pass rushing specialist.
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