Shane Ray selected No. 23 overall by Denver Broncos
CHICAGO - With the No. 23 overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos selected Mizzou's Shane Ray on Thursday.
"All teams that passed on me, that were in the top 10, I felt like they made a huge mistake," Ray told the Associated Press. "As a Denver Bronco, I plan on showing them about the mistake they made. I'm so indebted to the Broncos for giving me the opportunity. I can't wait to learn from guys like Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware and be a force."
Ray, from Kansas City, was named 2014 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and entered the draft coming out of a successful junior season at Mizzou. He broke the single season sack record with 14.5 sacks in the 2014-2015 season.
John Elway, Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos told the AP Ray "showed a lot of maturity to me. He didn't duck out of going to Chicago. He stayed in Chicago and he owned up to that mistake. And to me, that showed a lot about what he's about and I was impressed with that...we got a guy that plays with his hair on fire and rushes the passer and loves the game of football. He's competitive and is going to be a great fit for us."
On top of First Team All-America honors, Ray was a finalist for the esteemed defensive end award, the Hendrick's Award and was a semifinalist for the Lombardi and Bednarik Awards.
Ray is the seventh Tiger to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2009. Ray becomes the 19th player in Mizzou history to be selected in the first round.
Mizzou's football program is nationally ranked in the top five in first round picks in the last six years:
- DL Sheldon Richardson (New York Jets 2013 No. 13 pick)
- DL Aldon Smith (San Fransisco 2011 No. 7 pick)
- QB Blaine Gabbert (Jacksonville 2011 No. 10 pick)
- LB Sean Weatherspoon (Atlanta 2010 No. 19 pick)
- WR Jeremy Maclin (Philedelphia 2009 No. 19 pick)
- DT Ziggy Hood (Pittburgh 2009 No. 32 pick)
Ray joins the No. 4 defensive team in 2014 and Denver standouts Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware.
Ray is the first player from Missouri to be drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft. The draft will continue in Chicago with the second and third rounds beginning Friday night at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN or the NFL Network.
To recap night one of the 2015 NFL Draft, visit KOMU 8's live blog.