Shane Ray burst onto the scene this year and had a great year off the right side edge for the Missouri Tigers with 13 sacks and 23 tackles for a loss. Ray did most of his damage as a right side pass rusher facing off versus opposing left tackles. Given that most other pass rushers move around a fair amount, it is promising to see Ray succeed versus the best possible competition he could face.
Ray wins with speed and burst and typically is into the backfield before the QB has a chance to get set to throw. He wreaks havoc in the backfield and in addition to his sacks should be good at generating a lot of pressures and QB hits. Though NFL left tackles will handle speed rushers like Ray better than college LT’s, speed still wins on the edge at a high rate.
Ray will need to develop a more complete pass rushing game plan at the next level, but he should be able to be an impact edge guy. The real concern is what he brings to the table when he’s not rushing the QB. He has good instincts vs the run and takes nice angles, but too often he got blocked out of the play in college. This will make him a real liability in 4 man fronts. When projecting him in a 3-4, there will be some question as to how he can do in coverage. Some teams don’t’ ask their edge guys to cover a lot, but for other teams he could be asked to cover 100+ snaps as a starter.
Overall despite some questions, Ray looks like a good edge rusher who should go in the top 10-15 picks. There are some concerns, but if used correctly Ray should be a strong pass rusher at the next level.