Former Mizzou star Shane Ray is heading west to Denver. Ray was selected 23rd overall by the Denver Broncos, after Denver traded up to select Ray.
Ray is the seventh Missouri player since 2009 to be drafted in the first round, and the first since Sheldon Richardson, who was selected by the Jets in the 2013 NFL draft. Ray is the 19th overall Tiger to be taken in the first round.
The Kansas City, Mo. native is the first former Mizzou player drafted by the Denver Broncos since Bryon Chamberlain was taken in the seventh round of the 1995 NFL draft.
Ray has the single season sack record at the University of Missouri (14.5). He also compiled 22.5 tackles for loss on his way to a consensus All-American season.
Ray was projected to be a Top 15 pick by many mock drafts before Monday morning, when he was pulled over for speeding on Interstate-70. He was cited for misdemeanor marijuana possession before being released.
There was even talk of Ray’s stock sliding after his arrest, with ESPN predicting he may drop as low as the third or fourth rounds.
“They’ve given me a chance, and that’s all I need,” Ray told ESPN after he was selected Thursday night.
Ray will learn under pro-bowl pass rushers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware in Denver, giving the Broncos one of the top pass rushing combinations in the AFC.