Denver Broncos: Shane Ray Soon To Be Elite
According to scouts from the 2015 NFL Draft, Denver Broncos Shane Ray was a bonafide top-10 draft pick and a player with elite talent written all over him.
Nicknamed “Sting Ray”, Shane Ray is providing punch to a Denver Broncos pass rush with the loss of DeMarcus Ware. Ware, recently went down due to an ulnar fracture in his elbow and is expected back in close to a month.
With Ware out, Ray has taken center stage replacing the future Hall of Famer in a monster way. In his first start against the Bengals this season, he registered three sacks only one away from his season total last year. That number alone will raise even more because of Ray’s assortment of pass rush moves he developed.
Ray has elite level power off the edge providing an extraordinary bull rush against tackles. He has now started to develop the spin and dip moves, which could further the development as a pass rushers. During the NFL Draft last year, scouts noted Ray struggles with bigger tackles, but he built up more strength and quickness to negate those linemen.
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Ware is responsible for the growth of Von Miller as a person and player, but the same can be said about Ray. Miller, Ware and the rest of the coaching staff noted Ray’s first step is faster than in college and his first NFL season.
Early in my draft evaluations in 2015, Ray’s ceiling originally registered as Dwight Freeney. Freeney has declined in production late in his career, but a Hall of Fame resume overrides the early point. Time will tell if Ray reach that Canton-type talent, but the coaching Ware has given both Ray and Shaquille Barrett will blossom to the level of Freeney and Robert Mathis early in their careers. An NFC outside linebackers coach said this about Ray in the 2015 draft process:
“He’s not like other guys from Missouri that we’ve seen. He’s got serious speed to get over the top of tackles and those other ends didn’t have it.”
Not many teams have the type of depth like the Broncos at pass rush. Wade Phillips rotated Ray in the first part of his career and spell Ware in a pinch, but now will assume command as Miller’s Robin till Ware is healthy. This last Sunday, Miller and Ray joined elite company only proving Ray is soon to be elite.
After Ray’s three-sack performance against the Cincinnati Bengals, it is not far-fetched to think he will register 10 sacks in the season. Ray will continue to be the “Sting Ray” to be opposing tackles and the heir to replace Ware right now. Let’s end this with a link to Patrick Smyth again, who’s other stat about Ray will blow your mind.