NFL Draft favorite Shane Ray was cited for possession of marijuana Monday morning in Cooper County, Missouri. Ray is scheduled to attend Thursday night’s NFL Draft in Chicago, and was rated the No. 15 draft pick before the news broke. However, now many are speculating his rating will decrease dramatically — even dropping him down to the second or third round.
Ray, 21, was pulled over at 6:07 a.m. Monday and charged with possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana and failing to drive in the right lane of the highway with two or more lanes. Police say Ray showed no signs of impairment and was cooperative throughout the process, leading to the citation in lieu of an arrest.
Ray released the following statement early this morning: “I’d like to apologize to my Mother, fans, and prospective NFL teams for my poor judgment Monday morning. I am embarrassed and realize there are consequences for my actions. I was not under the influence nor impaired, therefore I was not detained. Fortunately, Monday’s incident only resulted in a citation. I will make better choices in the future. It is imperative that I continue to strive to better myself. My future NFL career has been something I have always dreamed about and is very important to me. I commit that my actions will represent that. There are no excuses here, and I will take the necessary steps to ensure this will not happen again. I will not jeopardize my ability to have a positive impact on and off the field moving forward.”
Ray was the star pass-rusher for Mizzou; he racked up 22.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks last season. In a recent TV appearance, Ray said, “I feel like I’m the best defensive end/outside linebacker in this draft.” He was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last season, and was named a unanimous All-American in 2014.
Ray already had a foot injury he sustained in Mizzou’s bowl game working against him, but thanks to this transgression, the 6-foot, 245-pound player who was once considered a top-10 draft pick will almost certainly experience a draft day fall on Thursday.
But how big of a transgression is this, really? He wasn’t driving under the influence. They found no intent to sell. He had no weapons or real narcotics on him. This all brings us back to the question plaguing the NFL for years: what’s wrong with injured players treating their pain with pot?