For most of the last three seasons, the New York Giants' pass rush wasn't simply inconsistent, it was barely existent. There are several reasons for the decline of Big Blue's once fearsome pass rush, but for the Giants to field a successful defense, that pass rush needs to make a return.
Two big parts of the Giants' declining pass rush have been personnel issues and schematic limitations. The Giants began to address the schematic limitations of the past five years when they parted ways with Perry Fewell. That move potentially opens the door for a more aggressive defense that pressures offenses from a variety of angles. And that leads us to a potential answer to the personnel question: Shane Ray.
Shane Ray is a defensive end for the Missouri Tigers, and is one of the best pass rushers in a loaded class. Ray is a bit undersized, and will likely have to transition to a stand-up rusher at the next level. He does, however possess otherworldly athleticism and is a terror off the edge.
- Exceptional athlete. Explosive first step, fluid change of direction skills, quick, powerful, and excellent bend around the edges.
- Incredibly disruptive behind the line of scrimmage.
- Good football IQ. Usually around the football even if he isn't making the play.
- Non-stop motor. Always in pursuit of the play.
- High-effort player in run support despite his size.
- Highly productive in the SEC with 65 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, and 14 sacks in 2014.
- Very undersized for a defensive end, very scheme specific.
- Aggressiveness can get him into trouble, like when he was ejected for targeting in the SEC Championship game.
- Can struggle to disengage from blockers if they pick up his initial rush.
- Sometimes slow to locate the ball.
Does He Fit With The Giants?
Does Shane Ray fit the New York Giants? How he fits with any team largely depends on their defensive scheme. Ray is explosively athletic, but he will need to be in a defensive system that moves him around and puts him in position to use that athleticism to attack the offense. If the Giants hire a defensive coordinator who will send extra pressure and incorporate stand-up rushers, then Ray would make a fantastic addition to the defense.
At ninth overall, Ray would be fantastic value at a position of need. The only question is if he will last that long.
Big Board Rankings
Big Blue View - 4th overall
Mocking The Draft - 14th overall
CBS - 8th overall
Draft Tek - 8th overall
Draft Countdown - Not Yet Rated