Fooch's update: Ray had an update
Shane Ray says Dr. Aakash Shah told him he does not need surgery to fix toe. Ray says some teams want him to rehab properly in early OTAs— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 23, 2015
The San Francisco 49ers have a need for more pass rush depth, and one big talent could very well slip a bit. NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein was on SportsTalk970 talking draft prospects, and he said Shane Ray might need surgery on his toe. Zierlein said surgery is not required, but some team doctors might decide it is necessary, and it could cost him upwards of five months.
It only takes one team liking a player to prevent a slide. But if enough teams with pass rush need decide surgery is necessary, it could very well drop Ray to the end of the first round, if not out entirely.
Toes have obviously been a problem for the 49ers (see Willis, Patrick), but if they think surgery will correct the issue sufficiently, maybe they move down to try and grab Ray. Pass rush is a need, but the 49ers could also afford to wait on Ray getting healthy. Aldon Smith, Aaron Lynch and Ahmad Brooks are a potentially formidable trio of pass rushers.
The 49ers could use short term depth, but the bigger question is long term. Brooks's future with the team is a bit shaky, and Aldon Smith is entering the final year of his contract. Adding Ray, even with his toe injury, could be a valuable long-term move. But obviously it depends on how the team views that injury.