ATLANTA -- Cam Robinson didn't even get to see Shane Ray for an entire game.
"Definitely, most definitely," Robinson said when asked if Ray seemed NFL-ready. "I played against a lot of great defensive ends this year, and he was right there with any of them. I definitely feel he'll be very successful at the next level. He's very quick, very explosive."
Ray was ejected from the game in the second quarter for targeting Alabama quarterback Blake Sims on a 58-yard touchdown pass to DeAndrew White. Before he was tossed, however, he had enough time to beat Robinson for his 14th sack of the season in the first quarter, assisted by Lucas Vincent. Robinson was in decent position on the play until Sims stepped up the pocket when his first read was unavailable, giving Ray an easier play.
Robinson is just a freshman, but is expected to be named Freshman All-SEC after an outstanding season, and NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks noted Robinson has pro potential himself. Robinson likened Ray to Florida defensive end Dante Fowler, whom he faced earlier this season.
"Probably Dante Fowler from Florida -- they're pretty similar in the way they play. They are hard to handle," Robinson said.
Ray's 14 sacks lead the SEC, and his 21 tackles for loss are among the NCAA leaders, as well. At 240 pounds, he is light by NFL pass-rushing standards, but is nevertheless regarded highly as a prospect. Fowler has already announced he will enter the draft. Underclassmen have a deadline of Jan. 15 to declare 2015 draft eligibility.