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NFL Draft 2015 Scouting Report: Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri

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Shane Ray dominated the SEC in 2014, but is he good enough to hold up against the run in the NFL?

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Position

Edge (3-4 Outside Linebacker, 4-3 Defensive End)

School

Missouri

Size

6'3, 245 pounds

Strengths

Ray is an outstanding athlete with a great motor.  His burst off of the line of scrimmage wins him a lot of one on one battles with the opposing offensive tackles.  He flashes extremely violent hands that allow him to disengage from blocks.  His hands are his best asset, in my opinion.  It appears on tape that Ray has outstanding upper body strength. He routinely can punch blockers off balance.  Check out his South Carolina tape for proof.

Ray lived in the backfield this season, setting a school record with 13.5 sacks.  He also managed to accumulate 21 tackles for loss.  His quick twitch ability paired with his outstanding instincts allows Ray to set up blocks and move around them fairly easily.

Weaknesses

When taking on blockers head on in the run game, Ray appears to lack some lower body strength.  He can get washed out of plays, though his effort never ends.  Though his upper body strength is fantastic, Ray's lack of lower body strength hinders his ability to anchor or hold his ground.  He's thick on top, but light on bottom.  This will likely be a point of emphasis for any NFL team that drafts Ray.

There are also a few questions about whether or not he can play in space. He'll be asked to do this quite a bit more if he lands in a 3-4 system.  He played as a 4-3 Defensive End at Missouri, so there will definitely be a transition period there.

Summary

Ray projects as an immediate impact pass rusher in the NFL.  There's still some work to do against the run, but nothing that can't be fixed.  Like many of the other edge prospects in this class, his motor and superior athletic ability make him a pretty good bet in the league.  Ray will be a perfect fit in a 3-4 system as a stand-up outside linebacker.

Draft Projection

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