2014 SEC Top 100 Countdown: No. 77 Shane Ray, Mizzou

NCAA Football: Missouri at Georgia

SDS talent evaluators Jon Cooper and Brad Crawford spent several months breaking down last year’s highlights, incoming talent and projected 2014 impact following spring practice to compile a list of the SEC’s Top 100 players heading into fall. Athletes were selected by position then ranked overall counting down to No. 1.

Stick with SDS throughout summer and get in on the action using the hashtag #SDSTop100 as we unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.

77. Shane Ray, Jr., DE, Mizzou

The heir apparent to Michael Sam and Kony Ealy, Ray partners up with Markus Golden this season to make up one of the East’s best bookend tandems, both locks for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Ray spends most of his snaps in a three-point stance but has the build and speed of a linebacker, elements he showcased late in the fourth quarter of last season’s Cotton Bowl when he scooped and scored from 73 yards out to seal Mizzou’s 41-31 victory. Mizzou’s coaching staff expects much of the same this season from their fastest player up front as his role increases for the defending division champs.

Ray’s father, Wendell, starred at Mizzou in the late 1970s, but his son has the bigger upside. In Todd McShay’s first 2015 mock draft, Ray’s tabbed as a late first-round selection thanks to his pro potential as a hybrid defender in coverage or as an outside pass rusher.

2013 statistics: 39 tackles, 9 TFL, 4.5 sacks
2014 projection: 45 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 6 sacks

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

COMMENTS

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  • Ray will stand up and play the Joker position quite a bit this year. Also, the way Coach Steck goes nuts with some of his schemes, expect to see Ray up as a MLB rushing up the middle when we come out in a 3 man front-nickel formation.

    The fact that he was hand-timed in the 4.4s this winter is just insane. On the other side with Golden, we have some insanely fast DEs. I’m anxious to see what numbers they put up as starters.

    • SO MANY talking heads/prognosticators/”experts”/etc. are underestimating Mizzou again this season! They see M. Sam & K. Ealy & J. Franklin gone, and immediately think The ZouMen will drop down to the middle of the pack in the East ….behind Tenn & Florida, no less!!! But, Shane Ray & Markus Golden are VERY SIMILAR to the talent level of the 2 previously mentioned DE’s…..and Maty Mauk, oh damn, he just might destroy legendary Chase Daniels records for everything! It’s gonna be a fun season, and you just know Mizzou staff is posting all kinds of bulletin board material all over the weight room already!