NFL Draft 2015: Vikings Should Consider Shane Ray If He Falls to 4th


Whatever you think of recreational marijuana use and the push to legalize the activity in America, you can’t deny Shane Ray did a very very dumb thing by getting popped for misdemeanor possession just days before the NFL draft.

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Even before getting cited for pot, Ray was looking at a potential slide out of the top 10 due to concerns about a foot injury he sustained at the end of the 2014 season. But now Ray is perceived as such a bad risk, there is talk that he could fall all the way from the first round to the fourth.

Former Bucs GM Mark Dominick gave this stark assessment of Ray’s draft value on Mike and Mike (via PFT):

"“This changes Shane Ray dramatically because it’s, to me, such a poor decision this close to the draft. It’s the decision making. What is this guy going to do on Friday or Saturday night before a big game? Is he going to make another poor choice like this? The timing is so bad, and the foot issue, tells me that this guy isn’t just dropping out of the first round, he’s dropping to the third or fourth round now,” Dominik said on Mike & Mike. “I know he’s dropping out of the first round. I don’t see any way he’s going in the first round.”"

Shane Ray was never going to be in the picture for the Vikings as long as his stock remained top-10 level, and frankly might not have been an ideal draft target at 11 given his specific traits (he might not be long enough for Mike Zimmer), but as a potential high-upside pick in the fourth round?

Were I the Vikings I would absolutely consider taking a shot with Shane Ray in the fourth round, even if Mike Zimmer likes ’em longer. Sure, the red flags at this point are so profuse they block out the sun. But that’s why drafts have multiple rounds.

If it turns out this guy’s foot is no good or he’s just an idiot who can’t stay out of trouble, all you lose is a fourth rounder. Rick Spielman has thrown more than that away on misbegotten trades without even thinking twice.

If Shane Ray’s foot is okay and he wises up like Everson Griffen did after his initial rough patch as a young player? Then you’ve got yourself a potentially elite pass rusher, a guy with top-10 skills…and all you risked was a fourth.

Unless there’s a lot more bad stuff out there about Shane Ray that we don’t know yet, I don’t see any problem with putting a fourth rounder on the line in a gamble that this player will get his situation straightened out and become a baller.

Taking chances on players like Ray is how decent GMs can become great GMs.

Next: Vikings Worked Out NDSU RB John Crockett

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