NFL Draft 2015: Should Seahawks take Shane Ray?


What the hell was Shane Ray thinking? 

That’s probably the question in the minds of many of us right now. Ray, a perceived top-10 draft pick by some and a surefire first rounder by most draft experts, received a citation for possession of marijuana. Ray could now potentially fall to the third or fourth round because of his mistake.

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I could be horribly wrong here. I’m sure there are many teams willing to take a chance on the 2014 SEC defensive player of the year in the second round or even the late first. However, an unnamed ex-NFL GM recently stated that the unfortunately timed event could have Ray’s stock drop to the third or possibly even the fourth round.

I personally think that’s utterly laughable, but crazier things have happened in past NFL drafts. For the sake of this article, let’s hypothetically say that Ray falls to the third or fourth round.

If he does, the Seahawks should snap him up. Immediately.

There are certainly plenty of much greater needs for the Seahawks: offensive line and wide receiver are the first names that come to mind. However, Seattle can’t afford to pass up on a player of Ray’s caliber.

ProFootballTalk posted an article a few weeks ago about whether the Seahawks would pick up Irvin’s $7.78 million fifth year option. Seattle should most definitely pick up the option, as Irvin has been an significant contributor to the Seahawks’ dominant defense since his arrival in the Pacific Northwest.

However, the Seahawks should also be looking toward the future, and should be looking for Irvin’s replacement at SAM linebacker in case the Seahawks get priced out of his market if he hits free agency.

I believe Ray is that guy.

I know that Ray played defensive end in college. But his 33-inch arms are considered subpar for the position in the NFL.

But while the length isn’t there, the speed and tackling certainly is. Ray even said on a recent episode of ESPN First Take that his ideal position in the NFL would be playing the outside linebacker spot in a 3-4 scheme.

Seattle plays a base 4-3 scheme, but the franchise has been exceptional at developing players to eventually fill roles.

Just look at Irvin.

When Irvin was drafted in 2012 in the first round, many analysts criticized him as being a player who can only rush the quarterback and not much else. Ray fits that same profile. He’s a pass rusher with elite athletic tools; I’m sure he can make the transition.

If he does fall to Seattle, Ray can be a situational pass rusher for his first year as he transitions to the NFL speed and the outside linebacker position. Pete Carroll will certainly be able to prepare the talented athlete to adjust to the SAM position after a year or two.

Seattle’s defensive success won’t last forever but a constant influx of talent will certainly extend it. John Schneider knows exceptional talent when he sees it, and hopefully he’ll be willing to pull the trigger on the talented player.

Next: How Russell Kung's contract affects Seattle's draft

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