No. 4: EDGE Shane Ray
A year or two ago, taking a shot at Denver Broncos EDGE Shane Ray would have made a lot of sense. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound pass-rushing specialist showed plenty of prowess when the Broncos selected him in Round 1 of the 2015 NFL Draft.
But with Denver getting plenty out of fellow EDGE Von Miller, Ray became something of an afterthought, first being buried by fellow edge rusher Shaquil Barrett and then by Bradley Chubb last year.
All that alone wouldn’t be enough to make the 49ers want to pass on Ray — a player who boasted eight sacks just two seasons ago.
Instead, it’s the injury factor. And that’s a massive problem for Ray, who enjoyed essentially one fully healthy season back in 2016.
A series of wrist injuries thwarted Ray’s 2017 and 2018 seasons, which prompted Denver not to pick up his fifth-year option. Now a pending free agent, Ray could be one of those low-risk fliers the 49ers could look at.
OK, fine. But the problem would be Ray taking up a spot on a defensive line that is already deep, pushing a would-be developing player away from assuming a larger role.
Plus, this year’s NFL Draft is already deep enough with edge rushers. The Niners would be wiser to explore that route.