Sources: Missouri's Shane Ray close to jumping into NFL draft

Missouri's Shane Ray, this season's SEC sack leader, is strongly considering entering the 2015 NFL draft, according to multiple sources familiar with the underclassman's thinking.

Shane Ray, No. 56, was dominant for Missouri this season. (USA TODAY Sports)
Shane Ray, No. 56, was dominant for Missouri this season. (USA TODAY Sports)

Sources indicate his mother, Sebrina Johnson, is in the process of setting up and conducting meetings with agents and vetting potential representatives.

Ray hasn't made any official declarations. Early projections have tabbed him as at least a top-10 pick for the draft in April.

The redshirt junior defensive lineman had a tremendous season for the Tigers, racking up 14 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. He was voted first-team All-American and SEC defensive player of the year by the Associated Press.

Ray is expected to command the most eyes from NFL scouts at the Citrus Bowl, where the Tigers will face Minnesota on Jan. 1. The defensive star hopes for a better outing than his previous one, the SEC championship game, in which he was ejected for targeting with a hit on Alabama quarterback Blake Sims.