Leading up to the draft, I’m examining 10 important questions for the Ravens. Here’s question No. 3.
HAVE THE RAVENS SOURED ON SHANE RAY DUE TO HIS RECENT TROUBLES?
The Ravens need a pass rusher, but they don’t need anymore off-the-field issues. After being cited for possession of marijuana Monday night, Ray has hurt his stock less than 72 hours before the start of Thursday night’s draft. Teams were already concerned about Ray’s lingering toe injury, leading to speculation that Ray might need surgery.
Now it’s more likely the Missouri pass rusher will be available at No. 26 for the Ravens. But if the SEC Defensive Player of the Year is still on the board, will the Ravens bite?
The Ravens like Ray’s skill set, and owner Steve Bisciotti has said the team covets a pass rusher. Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs are both beyond 30 years old, and the Ravens lost Pernell McPhee, who had 7½ sacks last year, to the Bears during free agency.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh raved about Ray earlier this month.
“This guy has an unbelievable motor,” Harbaugh said. “He’s going to get plenty of NFL sacks just because he keeps coming relentlessly. And then he’s a leverage rusher with subtle speed to work the edges. He can work the edge of an offensive tackle like few other guys. So he’s an interesting guy.”
However, Ray may have become a little too interesting for the Ravens’ taste. If he’s still on the board at No. 26 on Thursday night, they’ll will be left with an interesting decision.