A day after he was cited for marijuana possession, Missouri pass rusher Shane Ray is the subject of much speculation. Previously viewed as a probable top-10 pick, Ray is no longer a lock to even be a first-rounder. For his part, the young defender released a statement apologizing to his mother, his fans, and prospective NFL teams for the “poor judgment” he showed on Monday, and vowed to make better decisions in the future (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).
Here’s the latest on one of the most talented pass rushers in the 2015 draft class:
- Due to his citation for marijuana possession, Ray will now be automatically enrolled in the behavioral portion of Phase 1 of the NFL’s substance abuse program, sources tell former Bucs general manager Mark Dominik of ESPN. Placement in Phase 1 of the program means that Ray won’t face any NFL discipline, but will be subject to random drug testing once he enters the league.
- Within that ESPN.com story, it’s suggested that Ray could drop as low as the third round in this week’s draft, and Dominik said earlier today that he expects the Missouri defender to slide to the “third or fourth round,” according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
- While Dominik doesn’t see “any way” Ray gets picked in the first round, Rapoport tweets that there’s still a “strong possibility” of that happening. Ray continues to plan on being in Chicago for the draft, adds Rapoport.
- John Middlekauff of 95.7 The Game (Twitter link) also explored the idea of Ray falling out of the first round, speaking to three executives about it — two said Ray might slip out of the first, while one said he won’t.
- Teams that wouldn’t have had a chance to land Ray before are now inquiring on him, with both GMs and owners doing their homework, says Rapoport (Twitter links). According to the NFL.com scribe, clubs with mid to late first-round picks are going back to Ray’s film.