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10 Things to know about Denver Broncos new pass rusher Shane Ray

Ken Pomponio Avatar
May 1, 2015


In a somewhat surprising move, the Denver Broncos traded up five spots in the first round Thursday night to draft Missouri fourth-year junior defender Shane Ray.

Here are 10 things to know about the pick and the newest member of the Orange and Blue:

1. The Broncos traded the 28th overall selection, offensive lineman and 2007 fourth-round Detroit draft pick Manny Ramirez and fifth-round selections this year and next to the Lions to move up five spots in the first round for the pick.

2. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Ray, who starred at defensive end at Missouri, will be an outside linebacker in Wade Phillips’ new 3-4 defense and is the seventh linebacker to be selected by the Broncos in the first round since the common draft began in 1967, joining Von Miller (2011), D.J. Williams (2004), Al Wilson (1999), John Mobley (1996), Mike Croel (1991) and Randy Gradishar (1974). Only Williams and Croel failed to earn first-team Associated Press All-Pro recognition during their Denver careers, and Croel was named the 1991 Defensive Rookie of the Year.

3. Oddly, Ray is only the second Broncos’ draft pick from Missouri since ’67, joining tight end Byron Chamberlain (seventh round, 1995).

4. Ray was named the 2014 SEC Defensive Player of the Year in a conference which annually leads all conferences in NFL draft picks. Other recent winners of the SEC honor include former teammate Michael Sam (2013), LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson (2010), Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry (2008) and Mississippi linebacker Patrick Willis (2006).

5. A 2014 Sporting News First-Team All-American, Ray led the SEC and ranked third in the FBS in sacks (a Missouri-record 14.5) and tackles for loss (22.5) this past season as a fourth-year junior.

6. Ray will begin his NFL career in the substance-abuse program after being cited for marijuana possession Monday in Columbia.

7. The former Missouri standout also has had to deal with a lingering foot/toe injury — similar to a turf toe ailment — that caused him to sit out NFL Scouting Combine workouts. On April 23, Ray saw Kansas City foot specialist Dr. Ansah Shah, who said surgery wouldn’t be required – only rest – but the injury, combined with the pot incident, knocked Ray out of the top 10 on many teams’ draft boards.

8. As aforementioned, Ray missed Combine workouts but ran a 4.6-second 40-yard dash, hit 33.5 inches in the vertical jump, cleared 10 feet in the broad jump and timed 7.71 seconds in the three-cone drill at Missouri’s pro day in March.

9. Ray was rated as the third-ranked high school player by Rivals.com in the state of Kansas in 2010 and redshirted his first season (2011) at Missouri. He didn’t, however, start a game until his junior season in 2014.

10. Ray’s father Wendell was also a Missouri standout and was a fifth-round selection of the Minnesota Vikings in 1981. But the elder Ray never played an NFL down due to injury.

For more draft coverage check out the BSN Denver Draft Center!

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