Ray McDonald   DE/DT   Florida

 

STRENGTHS 

Ray has good size, strength and quickness for this position.  He never stops working on every down.  He does a solid job using his hands to keep the O-linemen away from his body and has good balance after he splits the tackle and guard and gets into the backfield to disrupt a play or put pressure on the QB.  Ray is an excellent teammate and has moved back and forth between the DT and DE position for his team.  He looks like he would be a good fit as a DE in a 3-4 defense or a DT in a 1-gap, 4-3 defense.  Because of Rayís quickness and strength, he is surprisingly good at stopping the run as well as rushing the passer.  He has a lot of the same qualities and talents in his game as Tommy Harris (DT Chicago Bears), but he is not as big as Harris was when he came out.  Ray has room to get bigger and because of his character and work ethic, I do not think it will affect his speed and quickness at all. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Ray needs to stay at one position so that he can grow and learn.  Right now, he is doing everything on athletic talent alone because he has been moved around so much.  If he wants to be a DT, he will have to bulk up and if he wants to be a DE, he will have to learn better techniques.  None of this should be a problem because Ray has such a good work ethic and character, but it does affect his LTI. 

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 2

I really like Rayís game a lot and I think in a few years, he will become an impact & core player for the team that drafts him.  I think when he works out at the combine, he is going to show everyone that he is a very good athlete; when that happens, he should move up the boards fast.  Most scouts are going to tell you that Ray is a tweener, but Iím telling you he is not.  The only reason he did not stay at one position for his college team was because of injuries.  Every time his team was short at the DT position, he was asked to move and he did it willingly.  Ray could play a strong side DE in a 4-3 or a DE in a 3-4.  If he bulks up, he could play DT in a 1-gap 4-3 defense.  He has a ton of talent that hasnít been tapped yet.  I think the best position for him personally will be as a strong side DE in a 4-3 defense.  He would give you a Michael Strahan look to your defense.  I felt the same way about Tommy Harris (profile in achieves) when he came out.  Ray is not as far along as Tommy was when he came out, but he has a lot of the same potential.  His LTI should be longer than Tommieís was, but I think his impact will be a very close second.   Ray McDonald is going to be a hell of a defensive lineman for the team that drafts him. It will just take a little time.   

Drew Boylhart

February/2007