It's mid-January, and we're already seeing tons of NFL Draft profiles and pieces. That's mostly because of the early-entry deadline that just came and went, but it gives us some new Shane Ray reading material.
STRENGTHS Explosive athlete in every sense. Has elite power for his size and explodes off the line like a coiled spring. Rushes passer with extreme passion and purpose. Has fast, violent hands with advanced understanding of how to use them. Tough and plays with bad intentions on each snap. Uses rip to get under linemen and out-leverage them. Played 4-3 defensive right end in base but rushed from three-technique in some sub-packages. Once he gets to blocker's edge, they struggle to recover and redirect. Rare ability to post inside leg and get his body turned sharply and quickly around it toward quarterback. Excellent change-of-direction talent. Has natural coordination of head fakes, footwork and hand usage in pass rush. Works hard to stand his ground against power. Has power in upper body and hips to punch and dispatch with tight ends against run. Rarely runs past the arc as a rusher and will fight to come back underneath if he gets on the high side. Was able to drop into space with no issues when asked.
13. New Orleans Saints: Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri
The Saints need a big-impact pass rusher, especially if the team moves on from linebacker Junior Galette following his domestic violence arrest. Ray is coming off a huge season at Missouri playing defensive end, but his pro future might be at linebacker.
6. Shane Ray, DE - New York Jets
The Jets could obviously use a quarterback, but if Mariota or Winston aren't available at No. 6, Kiper thinks that New York will look to add to its defensive line with an excellent pass rusher in Missouri's Shane Ray.
8. SHANE RAY, DE/OLB (Atlanta)
RS Junior, Missouri
Another defense-starved team that absolutely must add some playmakers before the 2015 campaign begins. Atlanta's situation is even more problematic because Osi Umenyiora, Kroy Biermann and Sean Weatherspoon are impending free agents. Ray can flip between 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, and he has the potential to be this draft's premier pass-rusher.
Of course, Ray might not be the only first-rounder...
I see Markus Golden jumping into the first rounds on a few mock drafts...good...no way he should drop out of round one.— Garrett Gordon (@GarrettGordon) January 16, 2015
Meanwhile, there's other in-the-pros news...
It took an injury to Gerald McCoy, but Shel made the Pro Bowl as he predicted. Sheldon always gets the last word.