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Possible Pick: Once A Top-10 Prospect, DE Ray's Stock Could Fall

(Editor's Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held April 30-May 2, has taken a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today's final featured player is defensive end Shane Ray.)

Name: Shane Ray
Position: Defensive End
College: Missouri
Height/Weight: 6-2/250

Honors:Ray was an All-American, All-SEC selection and Bednarik Award finalist as junior in 2014, his only year starting for Missouri.

Where He's Projected:Who knows now? Once a good bet for the top 10, Ray's stock could tumble due to a couple of red flags. First, he has a toe injury that may or may not require surgery based on reports. Then on Monday morning, three days from opening draft night, Ray was cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession just outside of Columbia, Mo., where he starred for the Tigers. The Cowboys are picking at No. 27 and have needs at defensive end, but it's uncertain if Ray will fall that far, and it's hard to project which round teams will slot Ray now due to injury or off-the-field concerns – or both.

How He Helps the Cowboys:Ray can get to the quarterback, period. A backup his first two years at Missouri, he broke the school's single-season record for sacks (14.5) in his junior season. He's a little undersized for defensive end in terms of strength and length, but he's an outstanding athlete whose quickness presents problems in pass protection. The Cowboys ranked near the bottom of the league in sacks (28) last season and need pass rush help with Greg Hardy facing a 10-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the league.

Scout's Take:Works down the line and tackle. Plays in a rotating system. Was only a one-year starter while at Missouri. Showed the ability to slip blocks. Can work up the field and retrace his steps. Finds the ball. Good get off. Hard to block when on the move. Can cover some ground when he runs. Outstanding read and react. Active when it comes to his lateral movement. Plays with some suddenness. Will use counter moves but would like to see him develop a few more. He's a tough player for blockers to get their hands on when he is rushing up the field. Doesn't give much of a hitting surface. Can get past that up field shoulder of the tackle. Really needs to win on that first step but has the explosive quickness to do so. Quick hands. Active. Wrap up tackler. Got caught on the block at him. Avoids low block. Balance. Can play with leverage when he extends his arms but doesn't have consistent power. Gave a little ground when the ball was at him. Can avoid blocks on his feet. Stays active. Can be used on the twist stunt. Good initial quickness with combination moves to free himself. Really good for two quick steps then slows down. Wider that he plays the better he rushes. The only question I have is can he handle power down after down. Doesn't have ideal size and that could hurt him at the next level. Might be too stiff to play linebacker where some teams have him. He will most likely be drafted in the first round but on my board I believe he is an early second. - Bryan Broaddus

-- Other Possible Picks --


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