Shane Ray had a disappointing, injury-riddled season in 2017. He was ineffective on the field and was ultimately put on injured reserve. Sadly, he hasn’t seemed willing to work on his overall game as he continued to lack in run support responsibilities in a desire to make the sexy sack on the quarterback.
The Denver Broncos coaching staff, however, continued to hope for the best as he entered the season as the starter opposite of Von Miller despite an outstanding season from undrafted phenom Shaquil Barrett.
Shane Ray PFF Grade 2017
Once again, Ray struggled to contain his responsibilities against the run grading out a paltry 45.3 according to Pro Football Focus. He struggled in minimal coverage assignments as well with a 44.7 grade, but did okay at rushing the quarterback with a 73.4 grade. Overall, he finished with a disappointing 50.7 grade on the season.
Shane Ray Contract
This will be Ray’s make or break year with the Broncos. If I were the Broncos, I would not exercise the 5th year option on Ray’s contract at this point. He hasn’t earned it or shown the ability to add to his game. Instead, they should look to extend Shaquil Barrett this season and move forward from there.
Frankly, 2018 could and should be Ray’s last in Denver. The only way this should change is if Ray suddenly shows he can do more than just try to sack the quarterback on every down - even when the running back has the ball running right past him.
That’s the key. Ray is a first round pick for a reason, but to excel in the NFL you have to do more with that talent. A guy like Von is a terror towards quarterbacks, but he also is a terror towards running backs. He even had one of the most critical pass breakups in Super Bowl 50 on a wide receiver deep down the sideline.
I don’t expect Ray to be on Von’s level, but he needs to at least function outside of rushing the passer. And so far, I just haven’t seen enough to justify him starting over Barrett on this defense.
Should the Broncos pass on the 5th year option on Shane Ray?
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