Shane Ray Busted for Marijuana Possession Before NFL Draft

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Dec 6, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Missouri Tigers defensive lineman Shane Ray (56) tackles Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Blake Sims (6) during the second quarter of the 2014 SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. The play caused Ray to be ejected from the game for targeting. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

One of the pass rushers slated to go after Leonard Williams at the 2015 NFL Draft, Mizzou’s Shane Ray had first round projections going for him as a player set to become a top prospect in the league. All he had to do was what every aspiring draft pick knows they need to do before the draft, just stay out of trouble and say all of the right things until you are officially drafted.

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Ray unfortunately failed to complete the “stay out of trouble” requirement of maintaining his draft stock when he was arrested for marijuana possession just days before the first round draft picks are to be made on Thursday. Getting pulled over for driving in the passing lane (a strange thing to be pulled over for) before getting his vehicle searched and charged for possession of marijuana.

Ray’s arrest was initially reported from local media in Missouri where Ray was a star for the Tigers, unfortunately getting ejected from the SEC Championship Game for what was a controversial hit on Alabama quarterback Blake Sims.

The news of Ray’s arrest may not overly impact his draft stock as the pass rusher was already a player who was falling on boards due to a toe injury that has raised some concerns over his health as a rookie. An arrest surely will not help as Ray could fall into Round 2, but it won’t change his status as a prospect who could become an impact pass rusher at the NFL level.

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If Ray wants to reach that potential as a potential longterm starter on the defensive line he may want to avoid getting caught with marijuana once drafted as after all the NFL doesn’t exactly give slaps on the wrist for players who test positive for smoking on occasion when it comes to their long strict suspension policies in regards to pot.

There is no doubt that the Mizzou pass rusher will be going on either Day 1 or Day 2 of the draft, but the question now is if teams are going to let Ray slip to a point in which a team can get value for a player with a minor “character issue” over smoking pot. If that happens a team like the Raiders may be eager to take a chance on the rusher come the second round if teams already don’t jump on the opportunity in the later picks during Round One.