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Shane Ray Cited for Possession of Marijuana: Latest Details and More

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIApril 28, 2015

USA Today

Former Missouri star pass-rusher and top NFL prospect Shane Ray has been cited for possession of marijuana just days before the 2015 NFL draft.

Continue for updates.


Ray Still Expected to Be Drafted in Round 1

Thursday, April 30

ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported "that Ray is expected to be selected before the first night of the draft comes to a close," via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk:

Schefter added that the Falcons could take Ray with the eighth overall pick, which comes after Atlanta coach Dan Quinn said Ray “absolutely” remains on their draft board. That doesn’t mean they’ll be selecting him with that pick or at any other point in the first round, of course, but it does suggest that Ray’s talent will be enough for someone to roll the dice on him early in this weekend’s proceedings.

Kevin Patra of NFL.com and SiriusXM NFL Radio passed along comments from Ray on April 29 regarding his marijuana citation and how it impacts his draft stock:

Kevin Patra @kpatra

Shane Ray says he can't go into details due to a legal situation. Says he's told teams what happen

SiriusXM NFL Radio @SiriusXMNFL

Shane Ray: "This was a one-time mistake. I don't want it to overshadow all the good decisions I have made." https://t.co/u0DnlYhGST

Kevin Patra @kpatra

Shane Ray says he spoke to Commissioner. Understands it could affect draft status

Kevin Patra @kpatra

Shane Ray said teams later in the first round have been more in contact with him lately

He also pointed out that he's been receiving more interest from teams picking later in Round 1, via Alper.

"With the timing of what happened, of course they would question my judgment," Ray said. "All I can try to do is ensure the teams that I will grow from my mistake and I'll continue to try and make better decisions."

Alper also added:

A drop down the board may be likely, but it may not be a particularly extreme one. Ray said Wednesday that he's been getting "a little bit more interest" from teams who are picking in the late stages of the first round, which would be a lower landing spot than most people originally predicted but not the catastrophic drop that [former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark] Dominik suggested in the wake of his run-in with the law.

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Ray Cited for Marijuana Possession

Tuesday, April 27 

Brandon Kiley of KTGR in Columbia, Missouri, broke the news Monday:

Brandon Kiley @BKSportsTalk

SCOOP: Shane Ray cited for possession of marijuana this morning in Cooper County, MO. http://t.co/iUOtxrxY8X http://t.co/hpEIBYWoql

David Morrison of the Columbia Daily Tribune added further details, as did Tod Palmer of The Kansas City Star:

David Morrison @DavidCMorrison

Highway patrol says Ray showed no signs of impairment during the stop and was cooperative throughout.

Tod Palmer @todpalmer

Ray was clocked speeding around MM 109 in Cooper County. Trooper smelled odor of marijuana (not burning) and some was found during search.

Tod Palmer @todpalmer

Ray was cooperative with the trooper and was released on a signature summons. He was given a warning for the speeding charge.

Palmer added that Ray's court date is June 30. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network provided a statement from Ray about the news: 

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Mizzou pass-rusher Shane Ray speaks on his legal situation. He begins with an apology http://t.co/dZ2KFXUsdx

After the citation, Ray has been automatically enrolled in the league's behavioral portion of phase one of the NFL's substance abuse program, via ESPN's Mark Dominik.

The report detailed what this means for Ray:

The move, which is determined by doctors independent of the NFL or the NFL Players Association, means Ray will not face any league discipline but is subject to random drug testing. The portion of the program he is enrolled in is designed to modify his behavior as it relates to substance abuse. That is a result of Ray's being charged not for using marijuana but for possession of the substance.

Bleacher Report insider Jason Cole weighed in on Ray's situation:

Jason Cole @JasonCole62

As 1 GM said again today, couldn't field a team if you eliminated all pot users. At same time, Shane Ray is a big dummy.

Ray racked up 22.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks this past season for Mizzou, and he is widely expected to be a first-round draft pick. This alleged off-field mishap may prevent Ray from hearing his name called April 30.

Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported he also failed a drug test at Missouri, which does not bode well for Ray:

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

Also, according to info from 5 NFL teams, Shane Ray failed a drug test early on in his career at Missouri. That comes back to haunt him now.

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

Clubs were willing to overlook Ray's failed drug test after getting to know him the last couple months. This AM's incident changes things.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com discussed NFL teams' mindset regarding Ray:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

On Shane Ray, owners are asking questions, too. GMs want to know the real story of what happened. Teams that never had a chance inquiring

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

What’s happening around @NFL with Shane Ray is what you’d expect: Teams in mid-late 1st studying his film. Ray has spoken with many of them

During a recent TV appearance, Ray declared himself the best player at his prospective position of edge-rusher in a 2015 class that's loaded at that spot, per ESPN's First Take:

First Take @FirstTake

"I feel like I'm the BEST defensive end/outside linebacker in this draft." - @X_RAYted56 http://t.co/iMetVI3i4T

Dominik talked about what the arrest could mean for Ray's draft stock, according to Mike and Mike's official Twitter feed:

Golic and Wingo @GolicAndWingo

"Shane Ray’s pot citation changes his stock dramatically. He could drop to the 3rd or 4th round." - @MarkdominikESPN http://t.co/jwB2OypNYV

John Middlekauff of 95.7 The GAME provided his take on Ray's draft stock:

John Middlekauff @JohnMiddlekauff

Reached out to 3 NFL Exces on Shane Ray about falling out of round 1: got two maybes and a no. I think he still goes round 1

However, Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reported that one NFL executive doesn't expect Ray to fall very far in the draft after his citation. 

Ray was one of the privileged few to be invited to Chicago's Auditorium Theatre for the draft itself, reinforcing the notion that he'd be selected in the top 32. Ray plans on attending the draft despite the citation, according to Rapoport

No matter how talented Ray may be, character concerns can absolutely sink a player's stock. With such a reported lapse in judgment coming so close to the draft, this citation has to be discouraging for teams who liked what they saw from him in the evaluation process.

The unfortunate reported transgression certainly complicates Ray's NFL outlook. He has already been dealing with a toe injury but saw a doctor who said the ailment didn't require surgery, per Rapoport.

Even if Ray's physical health checks out well enough for teams to feel comfortable investing in him, his citation gives life to a different set of concerns.

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