Scout slams Shane Ray: 'No way in hell he can be an OLB'

INDIANAPOLIS -- Missouri defensive end Shane Ray won't go through drills at the NFL Scouting Combine because of a toe injury, but at least one NFL scout appears to have seen all he needs to see on film.

And he wasn't very complimentary.

"I don't like him," the scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "People see who he is, they're going to fall off him quick. The body structure. No way in hell he can be an outside 'backer."

It doesn't appear anyone is falling off just yet. NFL Media analysts project Ray to be gone within the first 10 picks of the draft, anywhere from the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 3 to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 8. Both clubs have a need for a pass rusher, but the options are many.

Nebraska's Randy Gregory, Florida's Dante Fowler and Clemson's Vic Beasley -- who each impressed in the 40-yard dash Sunday -- could all be top-10 picks as well.

"Wins with effort, urgency and great first step. He has a degree of stiffness," the scout said. "He's got to win with quickness because of his lack of size and strength."

Ray isn't blind to criticism and doubters, and addressed them with via Twitter in the days before the combine.

He addressed the tweet during his combine media interview on Saturday.

"The noise to me is the comparisons, the people saying 'Is he better than this? Is he short? Is he 6-1? Are his arms short? Can he really run?' That's just noise to me. I kind of laugh about it," Ray said.

Ray measured 6-2 5/8 and 245 pounds at the combine -- too light for an NFL defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. As such, Ray projects better as a linebacker in a 3-4 defense, where he can use his explosiveness as an edge pass rusher. Ray has a lightning-quick first step off the line of scrimmage and led the SEC in sacks (14) last season. But if clubs eventually determine that Ray will struggle making a transition to linebacker, as this scout suggests, his wait on draft day could be longer than expected.

Ray said he intends to run the 40-yard dash and perform other drills for NFL coaches at Missouri's pro day, which hasn't been officially scheduled. He had hoped to run at the combine, but was medically exempted by combine doctors.

"I came here with the idea that I was going to run the 40. I knew I wouldn't be able to do the position drills because of my injury, but I've been running for 12 days," Ray said Sunday during NFL Network's telecast of the combine.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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