Former Missouri DE Shane Ray Arrested for Marijuana Possession


Shane Ray, a defensive end who left the Missouri Tigers a year early for the NFL Draft after leading the SEC with 14.5 sacks in 2014, could have his draft stock hurt by an arrest that occurred on Monday morning. The 21-year-old Ray was arrested for marijuana possession after being pulled over for speeding in Cooper County, Missouri.

Though Ray has generally been regarded as one of the top pass rushers in this year’s draft by media experts, he already faced a certain level of scrutiny because of his lack of size, which leaves him without a clear position. Ray measured in at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds at the combine, which would likely restrict him to a 3-4 outside linebacker position in the NFL, if not a 4-3 linebacker spot in a pass rush-based defense like Seattle or Jacksonville’s.

His stock had already taken a potential hit earlier this month with news that he was dealing with a foot injury that potentially could have required surgery. It kept him from doing drills at the NFL combine, and though doctors have told him that it can be healed with rest, it might be a small thing that inspires more confidence in guys like Bud Dupree and Eli Harold than it does for Ray.

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The marijuana arrest is a much bigger issue. Though there doesn’t seem to be naivety from teams to the degree where they believe that no players smoke, there is an expectation that they’ll be able to hide it enough to 1) avoid failing drug tests which they’re fully aware of the timeframe for and 2) avoid getting arrested. The lack of awareness on Ray’s part is a major red flag, and it’s something that will be a concern for teams that worry that he’ll end up getting suspended and cost them wins down the road.

Unfortunately, Ray is just the latest in a growing line of Mizzou players who have had trouble with the law due to marijuana. The most famous case was former top receiver recruit Dorial Green-Beckham, who was arrested twice on marijuana possession charges before eventually being kicked off the team following a rumored domestic violence incident. Starting cornerback Aarion Penton has also been arrested twice for marijuana possession since coming to the university. Pass rusher Aldon Smith also dealt with a marijuana arrest after leaving Mizzou and joining the San Francisco 49ers.

NFL teams will have just over two days to further examine the Ray situation, as the NFL Draft begins on Thursday night in Chicago.

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