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Defensive End Shane Ray Confident In His Nfl Potential


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http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/draft/2015/04/16/shane-ray-defensive-end-jets-falcons-ravens/25860479/

Defensive end Shane Ray confident in his NFL potential

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome were working out on adjacent treadmills last week when the conversation turned to Shane Ray, the reigning Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year.

"We both like him," Harbaugh said of the edge rusher who had 141/2 sacks and 221/2 tackles for losses last season with Missouri. "What jumps out first of all is his motor, right? This guy has an unbelievable motor.

"He's going to get plenty of NFL sacks just because he's going to keep coming relentlessly."


With his explosive first step, Ray plays in a havoc-wreaking rage, making others feel his pain.

That abandon is his way of repaying everything his mother, Sebrina Johnson, poured into him, pushing him toward football to escape an area of Kansas City, Mo., infested with gangs.

Ray's all-out effort is his way of honoring his mom, his teammates and the cousin he revered, Justen Johnson, who was killed in 2007 at 22 when he fell prey to those streets.

"Before every game, I'd get on one knee and talk to Justen. In my heart, I'd ask, 'Watch over me,'" Ray told USA TODAY Sports. "His memory is something I still carry. I just try to play lights out."

Ray wouldn't be around as a likely top-10 pick in the April 30-May 2 draft, he said, without Sebrina Johnson "doing such a great job of raising me, always keeping the right people around me."

Missouri defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski said, "Shane could have easily fallen into a gang lifestyle there.

"His mom did a fantastic job of being focused on what it was going to take to get them out alive. She was not only a very loving mother. She was a college basketball player, owned a restaurant, went through struggles. But she kept Shane focused."

Ray's best friend will be in Chicago to celebrate his selection.

"I'm sure she'll be crying," Ray said. "I'm sure I'll be full of emotions when my name is called. My mom sacrificed so much, pushing me back into the sport.

"My hunger is to make her proud."

Ray's father, Wendell, a Missouri linebacker from 1978 to 1980, was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round of the 1981 draft. Wendell's protracted absence in his son's life added more motivation.

"Shane wanted to come here and be better than his dad," Kuligowski said.

"He is the most competitive guy we've ever had here."

What is facing a hulking left tackle after the odds Ray already beat?

"It's hard not to root for the guy," ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said. "Studying Michael Sam and Kony Ealy last year, I thought Shane was the best playmaker on that defense.

"What he does best is his first-step quickness, the quickness of his hands to get off blocks and locate the ball. When he goes to attack, he has a strong closing burst. I would say it's Clemson's Vic Beasley then Shane Ray as having the most explosive first step in this draft."

At 6-3 and 245 pounds, Ray set the Missouri record with 381/2 career sacks.

Ray is an ideal fit for new coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets, who pick sixth, or fellow new coach Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons, who select eighth.

Ray worked out for the Falcons on Tuesday. After getting a medical recheck on his sprained toe in Indianapolis on Friday, he'll visit the Jets on Sunday, hoping for a reunion with former teammate Sheldon Richardson.


"Playing again with my big brother, that would be insane," Ray said.

"One Mizzou defensive lineman on your team? That's something. Two? That's a definite problem."

McShay notes Ray needs to develop better counter moves when his speed rush stalls out.

"Shane certainly looks better when he's going after the quarterback rather than dropping," Quinn said. "I love the attitude he plays with. You sense the toughness.

"He keeps battling to make plays when somebody else might back off. He doesn't quit."


And he doesn't lack for confidence.

"I think I'm the best defensive end in this class, because I've continually gotten to the quarterback in the toughest conference," Ray said. "I just want to continue doing what I was able to do with 141/2 sacks."

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Coach Quinn in another article on the LEO position

“Initial speed,” Quinn says. “You have to be able to beat someone off the ball who is going to be stronger than you. Then you have to be able to use the length—length is important—and have the relentlessness to finish.

“Then with the mental makeup, with both cornerbacks and rushers, you have to be a relentless fighter. There’s a 330-pound bear in front of you, and you just have to figure out a way to beat him. You have to be fast enough to run with the running backs and tight ends and strong enough to fight a bear. You have to be a unique dude.”

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and for ppl who will keep bringing up metric number

Quinn cautions against overvaluing metrics (which Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has called a “determining factor in separating players” in the past). “I lean towards the film,” Quinn says. “It’s so much easier to predict what the guy can do based on tape. If you rely too heavily on a number you can get swayed. Now, certain measurables are valuable. We can’t necessarily tell how long a guy is based on the tape.”

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I'm sure Fowler and Beasley have similar stories and work ethic.

Either way this should be a easy first roundround pick for the Falcons.

We have three shots at getting one of the better guys (actually two with Beasley and Ray). We know Fowler and Williams are gone right now. We have to get through Jets, Redskins, and Bears...possibly Ravens if they trade up. Its highly likely, barring something awesome, we will be left with Gregory with Dupree on the rise.

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We have three shots at getting one of the better guys (actually two with Beasley and Ray). We know Fowler and Williams are gone right now. We have to get through Jets, Redskins, and Bears...possibly Ravens if they trade up. Its highly likely, barring something awesome, we will be left with Gregory with Dupree on the rise.

yeah I hear ya. If all those guys are gone do you take Gregory?

I know he likes his electric Lettuce but dude has some talent.

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We have three shots at getting one of the better guys (actually two with Beasley and Ray). We know Fowler and Williams are gone right now. We have to get through Jets, Redskins, and Bears...possibly Ravens if they trade up. Its highly likely, barring something awesome, we will be left with Gregory with Dupree on the rise.

Yep

I think where Mariota and Winston goes and what the Titans(either drafting a QB/Williams, or trade for Rivers) do will have a huge impact on shaping the early-mid top 10.

I think the Bears probably could go WR or NT.

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I like Ray as a person and I like Ray as a player.

As long as his toe injury is nothing serious then I'm cool with taking him at #8.

I get the feeling that it'll be either Ray or Dupree.

I know Ray is smaller than Abe and doesn't have as many pass rush moves as Abe and I'm not comparing Ray to Abe, but when I watch Ray I am reminded of Abe. Maybe it's his motor and also how he bursts off the line.

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No.

It's not that he smokes weed.

It's WHY he smokes weed.

If reports are accurate, Gregory smokes to control an acute anxiety disorder.

If that is the reason then I wouldn't take him until the 3rd round. I grew up in pot country on the west coast of Canada. My sons named after my child hood friend who is the highest paid player in the NHL and they all like beer but not one of them mess with grass.... In small amounts it doesn't affect you but once you smoke heavy you are a different person.
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I'm sure Fowler and Beasley have similar stories and work ethic.

Either way this should be a easy first round pick for the Falcons.

I'm a huge fan of Beasley but he doesn't have the work ethic or anger Ray does, neither does Fowler. Mostly the anger. You'll watch him and it's almost like he doesn't feel exhaustion the same way as other players, it's the big reason him running between a 4.5 and 4.65 apparently on his Pro Day while injured doesn't worry me at all...constantly running 100%, not 80% or 90%. You'll see Fowler, Beasley, Dupree, Gregory jog on some run plays away from their side, even if they'll chase it down sometimes. Ray is just flying all over the place, he doesn't ever slow down. Still would prefer Beasley probably, and like Gregory and Dupree for different reasons too, but Ray will find a way to be effective. Unreal effort.

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I've heard so many critics "downgrading" Ray and some even saying he deserves a second round grade. I've not watched a bunch of game tape and scouting reports. I thought he was a bit of a hot head seeing him against UGA and Bama this year but I'm not buying the guy won't pan out. From what I've seen his just not the type of guy you bet against. Chip on his shoulder but I think that's what works for him. Gregory or Beasley would be my top choices but I'll be glad to have Ray in a Falcons uniform as well.

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Yep

I think where Mariota and Winston goes and what the Titans(either drafting a QB/Williams, or trade for Rivers) do will have a huge impact on shaping the early-mid top 10.

I think the Bears probably could go WR or NT.

I agree... The Bears have Jared Allen, Willie Young (hat 10 sacks) and just paid McPhee .. i think willie young and mcphee will start... they need an NT like Shelton if they are really going to a 3-4

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I agree... The Bears have Jared Allen, Willie Young (hat 10 sacks) and just paid McPhee .. i think willie young and mcphee will start... they need an NT like Shelton if they are really going to a 3-4

That could make Williams fall to us based on the way I think things would go. If Williams is there along with Scherff, Dupree, and Gregory would you pass on Williams?

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I'm a huge fan of Beasley but he doesn't have the work ethic or anger Ray does, neither does Fowler. Mostly the anger. You'll watch him and it's almost like he doesn't feel exhaustion the same way as other players, it's the big reason him running between a 4.5 and 4.65 apparently on his Pro Day while injured doesn't worry me at all...constantly running 100%, not 80% or 90%. You'll see Fowler, Beasley, Dupree, Gregory jog on some run plays away from their side, even if they'll chase it down sometimes. Ray is just flying all over the place, he doesn't ever slow down. Still would prefer Beasley probably, and like Gregory and Dupree for different reasons too, but Ray will find a way to be effective. Unreal effort.

i dont think ppl know how to measure it because its not a tangible .... Its more then just loving the anger .... Its an anger you play with that everybody just dont have

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