Shane Ray has all the talent to be a top-10 pick in Thursday’s NFL draft. A recent foot injury (turf toe) was cause for concern, but after it came out that he would not need surgery, it was expected that many teams wouldn’t let that alter his value much.
But the Missouri linebacker went and screwed that all up.
Just three days before the draft, Ray was pulled over for speeding and cited for marijuana possession in the process. Unless one of the last few teams picking in the first-round feel they can take a “risk” on Ray (and they should if he’s there), then Shane is probably going to slip into the second-round and cost himself millions.
Ray was speedy to release an apology:
“I’d like to apologize to my Mother, Fans and prospective NFL teams for my poor judgement Monday morning. I am embarrassed and realize there are consequences for my actions. I was not under the influence nor impaired, therefore I was not detained. Fortunately, Mondays incident only resulted in a citation. I will make better choices in the future. It is imperative that I continue to strive to better myself. My future NFL career has been something I have always dreamed about and is very important to me. I commit that my actions will represent that. There are no excuses here and I will take the necessary steps to ensure this will not happen again. I will not jeopardize my ability to have a positive impact on and off the field moving forward.”
Ray seems like a really good kid. I’m not saying that based on his apology, I’m saying it based on what I’ve seen of him and what I’ve heard of him. Obviously, this was a moronic move. But I also trust that as a 21-year old he’s going to learn and get smarter from this.
In this day and age, a marijuana charge just isn’t a big deal — especially when you factor in that he wasn’t even under the influence, he just had it on him. Will it hurt Ray? Absolutely. It shows very poor judgement, which NFL teams will decide how much that ultimate hurts him. But the microscope in these kids is almost too much.
In the end, all it takes is one team to like the kid and believe he can move past his mistake. The skills on the field are clear cut. It would be silly to let Ray slip outside of the first-round for something he can clearly bounce back from. My gut tells me that his worst days are behind him and that he has a very good NFL career.
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