Missouri defensive end Shane Ray announced Wednesday that he intends to apply for early entry into the 2015 NFL Draft, adding one of college football's most dynamic pass rushers to the pool of prospects entering the pro ranks.
Ray's announcement comes as no surprise. He earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors with an SEC-high 14.5 sacks -- one of only five players in college football to average one sack per game or better. He also delivered 22.5 tackles for loss, another league-best total, to anchor one of college football's top pass rushes.
Ray is undersized at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, but has an explosive first step and disrupts offensive backfields by beating blocks with his quickness. Ray was credited with an assisted sack, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble in the Tigers' 33-17 win over Minnesota in the Citrus Bowl. Ray's stock among NFL scouts has been on a sharp rise this season.
Missouri's defensive end opposite Ray, senior Markus Golden, is also a highly regarded draft prospect. Golden recorded 10 sacks on the year.