From now until the 2019 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
#11 Wyatt Ray/EDGE/6’3 257 lbs
- Sells and sets up stunt blitzes very well
- Good hustle
- Capable of dropping into coverage
- Gets off blocks using long frame
- Uses arms to disengage lineman’s blocks
- Shows some ability of bending around the edge, though flexibility is average at best
- Shows power out of his stance
- Dominating swim move
- Long arms really help his bull rush move
- Needs to be more disciplined when defending his gap
- Loses ground against lineman in run defense
- Can get run up the arc easily
- Lacks quickness crashing from backside in run defense
- Movement is very stiff and clunky
- Still very raw, 2018 was first full season as a starter
- 2018: 44 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 9 sacks
- Career: 114 tackles, 24 tackles for a loss, 17 sacks, 1 interception
- 2018 All-ACC Third Team
- Four of his nine sacks last season came in one game against Wake Forest
- 38 games played, 16 starts
- Third of all EDGE players with 25 reps on bench press at NFL Combine
My last profile of this year’s pre draft process is focused on Boston College EDGE Wyatt Ray. While his teammate Zach Allen may have stolen a lot of the spotlight, Ray is a pretty impressive pass rusher as well. He really got an opportunity to shine during his final season in which he finished with 11.5 tackles for a loss and nine sacks. He was also able to win All-ACC Third Team honors from his efforts and he could be a player to monitor in the mid rounds of this year’s draft.
Ray has strong arms and a strong upper base, as proven by his 25 reps on the bench press at this year’s NFL Combine. Watch Ray show off his explosive power on the play above, first as he knocks the right tackle backwards and then uses a nifty swim move to get to the quarterback. The Boston College pass rusher uses his strong arms to gain leverage on the right tackle before swimming over and notching an impressive sack.
Let Ray show you himself, how powerful his bull rush and arms can be. On the play above, Ray (#11) drives the left tackle with one arm! With a lot of power out of his stance, Ray has the physical tools to be a refined pass rusher in the NFL.
While many of Ray’s sacks came from stunts or swim moves, he did show flashes of some bend around the edge. A quick swipe from the Boston College pass rusher gives him access around the edge and another impressive sack. While not a common occurrence on his tape, it shows potential for another move in his arsenal. Though Ray is not the most flexible athlete or fastest guy off the line of scrimmage, if he can continue to demonstrate good use of his hands, there is some hope for his bend around the edge.
Ray also shows ability to set the edge and be a good run defender as well. He opens up a bit wide on the play above but he recovers and is able to set the play for no gain due to his long wingspan. He is exceptionally gifted with using his large frame to get off blocks.
Setting the edge and maintaining gap control is one area where Ray is going to have to improve on should he seek a full-time role at the next level. Too often he crashes in, giving up the edge which allows running backs to just bounce outside for a big gain. Ray is going to have to learn more discipline when it comes to setting the edge as he has a tendency to lose the edge on occasion.
Earlier I talked about Ray’s lack of flexibility, and it does seem to be a pressing concern when it comes to his bend. The pass rusher would have easily racked up a few more sacks if he had not been run up the arc so many times. Perhaps with a little polish from coaching, Ray could find better techniques to getting around the corner.
Ray has only made 16 career starts while at Boston College, so he is still extremely raw as a full-time player. He shows the promise one would expect from an athleticism standpoint, showing good strength and use of his hands. He also shows the downfalls you would expect from a raw prospect when it comes to the technical side of the game, maintaining the edge and bending the edge as just a few examples. Ray would project best as a mid-round prospect who could be a capable starter one day.
Projection: Early Day Three
Games Watched: vs Wake Forest, vs NC State, vs Florida State