In a surprising move trading up to No. 23, the Broncos selected defensive end Shane Ray from Mizzou and dealt their No. 28 pick plus center Manny Ramirez to the Detroit Lions.
Broncos vice president and GM John Elway welcomed Ray and thanked Ramirez.
Excited to add LB Shane Ray, a player we had in our top 10. I also want to thank Manny Ramirez, who was tremendous on & off field for us.— John Elway (@johnelway) May 1, 2015
As the top player on the board, Elway stayed true to his Best Player Available mentality with picking Ray, who many analysts believed was a steal.
And Coach Gary Kubiak indicated Ray should think of being a starter.
Kubiak: "We look at (Shane Ray) as a starter, even though we talk about rotations."— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) May 1, 2015
Ray, who had been seen as a Top 10 pick until he was cited with possession of marijuana on Monday, was ecstatic to go to the Broncos.
Noting that he thought "it was over" after the marijuana citation Monday, Ray said he's going to prove to the Broncos brass that he won't screw up this opportunity.
"I was so honored the Broncos gave me an opportunity to redeem myself. I'm going to show them; going to show them they made the right choice. I'm going to give everything and more," Ray said of the Broncos organization.
Ray added that he wouldn't mind being the poster child for telling kids not to mess up their opportunities via drugs.
"I realize the mistake I made, I'm alright with being that story. I moving past it, and I really can't wait to get to the next level."
Elway: Ray "realized the mistake that he made and guaranteed it wouldn't happen again ... I feel good about him."— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) May 1, 2015
Ray is probably also excited to be with the edge rusher he has tried to pattern his game after:
Shane Ray averaged 2.7 seconds before first contact on his sacks last season, fastest of any player in this draft http://t.co/MB9waJWzKg— Shemar Woods (@shemarwoods) May 1, 2015
And despite a somewhat perplexing tweet by Brandon Marshall, Broncos seemed happy with their new teammate too and took to Twitter to welcome the defensive end to the fold:
— Brandon Marshall (@BMarshh54) May 1, 2015
1000% lets go!— Von Miller (@Millerlite40) May 1, 2015
Welcome to the fam @X_RAYted56 lets get it !— Bradley Roby (@BradRoby_1) May 1, 2015
Cody Latimer (@CodyLatimer14) May 1, 2015
Bout to watch avengers.. Ill have reviews later lol— Lamin Barrow (@5_X_7) May 1, 2015
He in good hands Fam https://t.co/xrbXo2A8ov— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisJr) May 1, 2015
Wow ima really miss manny— Cj Anderson (@cjandersonb22) May 1, 2015
Wait...! We traded Manny?— Omar C. Bolden (@Os_Island) May 1, 2015
Of course, there was also this:
Deadspin is going to love this— Colin Daniels (@southstands303) May 1, 2015