Shane Ray was a three-star high school recruit from Shawnee Mission, Kansas. He was recruited to play for Kansas, Notre Dame, but decided to sign with the Missouri Tigers instead. Ray redshirted his freshman season and worked his way from rotational play to starting for the Tigers defense by the 2014 season. He enters the 2015 NFL Draft as a future first round pick.
College Career Overview
After Ray redshirted his freshman season, he started playing rotationally for the Tigers during the 2012 and 2013 seasons alongside future-Panthers’ Kony Ealy and Michael Sam. After Ealy and Sam entered the 2014 NFL Draft, Ray became the centerpiece of the Missouri Tigers’ defense where he outperformed expectations and set the Tigers’ single season sack record with 14.5. Ray was one of the nation’s premiere pass rushers and his play earned him First Team All-SEC, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, and Consensus All-American Team honors.
Note: Ray didn’t participate in the NFL Combine due to a toe injury.
||May 18, 1993
||Bench (225 lb)
||20 Yard Shuttle
||3 Cone Drill
|40 Yard Dash (10 yd split)
||60 Yard Shuttle
Stats and Awards
|University of Missouri (2011-2014)
||Consensus First-Team All-American (2014)
|2014 – 65 tackles, 22.5 TFL, 14.5 sacks, 1 PD, 3 FF, 1 Blocked Kick
||First-Team All-SEC (2014)
|2013 – 39 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 2 FF, 1 TD
||SEC Defensive Player of the Year (2014)
|2012 – 16 tackles, 2.5 TFL
||Missouri’s Single Season Sack Record (14.5)
- Played 4-3 defensive end for Missouri, but not large enough to play that in the NFL standing at under 6’3″. Needs to add 10-15 lbs onto his frame in order to adequately hold up at the point of attack.
- Above-average hip bend and flexibility to turn the corner and drive at the pocket.
- Excellent explosion off of the snap with a great first step
- Solid snap recognition. Usually one of the first off of the line.
- Rushed from the 3-pt stance the vast majority of his career.
- Great use of speed rush-rip move when rushing outside and club-swim move going from the interior to penetrate into the backfield. Kind of predictable move set and if you know he’s going outside you watch for the rip. Same goes for inside swim move.
- Raw pass rushing moves outside of those two mentioned above, with an awful spin move.
- Bullrush is not very effective. Doesn’t convert speed to power well.
- Overly reliant on athleticism to make plays. Could be a limitation later on when asked to learn new techniques.
- Doesn’t hold the point of attack to seal gaps. Would rather jump into gap rather than holding onto it.
- Dropped into zone coverage on limited occasions and didn’t play man-to-man coverage, but showed good open field agility.
- Excellent effort/motor on backside pursuit. Consistently chasing down players across the field and great at defending screen passes due to pure effort.
- Great arm length and should fit as a 3-4 OLB in the NFL.
- Has tweener size, but reportedly ran a 4.44 40-yard dash in practice. Definitely fast in game film, but confirmation at his pro day will solidify him as a Top 20 draft pick.
In the following plays we’ll take a look at Shane Ray’s pass rush and run defense and how it applies to the NFL.
1. Pass Rush
Ray’s first step is very impressive as he explodes off of the line of scrimmage.
Rays best move by far is his speed rush-rip move to get around the corner. He shows his natural hip bend and can sink them to turn the corner to attack the quarterback. Angling your body as a pass rusher from the outside back to the pocket is a make-or-break trait for pass rushers and Ray does a great job with it.
Outside of his speed rush-rip move outside, Ray flashed a solid club-swim move inside to beat various offensive lineman.
Ray attempts a spin move and out of all the attempts I have seen, it’s just awful. He can’t get the lineman to bite on the fake to the outside and doesn’t have the natural fluidity to spin around. Ray clearly has straight line speed and can turn the corner, but for some reason his spin move is just atrocious.
One thing that I noticed about Ray was that his bullrush isn’t that effective at gaining leverage on the blocker. Ray needs to add an additional 10-15 lbs of muscle onto his body to help with that and translate his speed to power better.
Ray showed his versatility rushing from more than just the 4-3 defensive end spot as a 7-tech or a 9-tech. In multiple games, the Tigers lined up Ray as a 3-tech defensive tackle utilizing his explosive first step to penetrate into the backfield.
Ray clearly can’t function as a 3-tech on every down due to his size limitations, roughly 50 lbs lighter than your traditional 4-3 3-tech, but it can be useful on 3rd down specialty pass rush packages. This additional experience makes him even more valuable to defensive coordinators that like to scheme different ways to get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Continue reading on the next page.