The good folks over on Mocking The Draft have released their first post-season mock draft. While I'm sure everyone is waiting with baited breath on the Buccaneers' decision at No. q1 overall -- Spoilers: They take Marcus Mariota -- what we're interested in is who the New York Giants select ninth overall.
If you read the title, you already know the answer: Shane Ray (DE/OLB, Mizzou).
They explain pick thusly:
9. New York Giants: Shane Ray, OLB/DE, Missouri
Arguably the biggest strength in the draft this year is pass rusher. That's good news for the Giants. Even if two edge players get picked ahead of them, there will still be a good one around with the ninth pick. In this scenario, it's Ray. Coming off a sensational season at Missouri, Ray could step in at end or be a stand up rusher.
Ray is an incredibly explosive athlete, reportedly able to bench press over 400 pounds, leap nearly 11 feet in the broad jump, 40 inches vertically, and running a 4.4 second 40 yard dash. Not only that, but he is a "Football Player" who has an aggressive mindset and is always around the ball.
He has been the pick for the Giants in a couple of our Power Mocks, and as we have said every time: Ray could be the steal of the first round. But for the pick to make sense, the Giants would need to go in a new direction at defensive coordinator. Ray plays defensive end for Missouri, but would likely need to transition to a "JOKER" role at the next level.
Personally, I believe he would be at his best under a defensive coordinator who is aggressive and willing to use him to his strengths. I think he would fit best in a "multiple", "hybrid", or 4-3 Under defense that would use him as a moving stand-up rusher who could still put his hand in the dirt in pass rushing situations.
While Perry Fewell is still the defensive coordinator as of this writing, his status is far from certain and there are whispers of a movement to see Steve Spagnuolo return as the Giants' defensive coordinator.
Mentioned on air a little bit ago there's been a steady drumbeat about a possible return to NYG for Steve Spagnuolo that isn't going away.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 29, 2014
This is obviously all academic right now, but adding a talent like Ray would certainly provide a huge boost to a defense that has struggled to be consistently disruptive.
So Big Blue View, how would you feel about Shane Ray as a Giant?