First thing is first - welcome to Denver, Shane! I'm ecstatic to have you as part of the Denver Broncos!
Now onto why I love this pick:
First and foremost, John Elway did something no other GM had been able to do Thursday night - he moved up five spots in the draft and essentially gave up nothing. Absolutely nothing. How is this even possible? He must have flashed that big grin of his and had the Lions at "Do you know who I am?!"
Bravo Mr. Elway. There's been a ton of chatter about how poorly you draft, but last night, you proved to everyone why you're one of the best GMs in all of sports.
What everyone needs to realize is that Shane Ray is a badass. Like, he's 100 percent legit. This cat was a bonafiede top 5-10 draft pick before he got busted with marijuana possession last week.
I know, I know, a whole slew of people are going to ask "Are you nuts? You just threw a pot head into a state that has pot legal. He's going to be suspended for eternity and never see a single snap."
Stop. Just stop. He isn't a "pot head." He doesn't have a marijuana problem. He wasn't one of those morons who couldn't stay clean for the combine (when they know they'll be tested). Those guys are the ones with an obvious problem.
But Shane? No. Shane never pee'd dirty. Shane never failed a test. Shane got busted with some weed in his possession while going to a party AFTER the Combine (where he had already tested, passed and was clean). That is totally different than someone who can't control himself around a substance.
The only concerns we need to have about Shane is whether he'll be a better pass rusher than Von Miller. I know, that's not a concern. That's my point. This dude is HUNGRY. This cat is intense with a motor that will not stop. He's like a modern-day Terminator! "He absolutely will not stop, ever, until the QB is dead!"
When the only knock people can find about Shane is that he's too short (yeah, so was Elvis Dumervil), then you know you have a keeper. We haven't had a stud outside rusher to team up with Miller since Dumervil himself. DeMarcus Ware, you say? Hogwash I say! He's old, slow and breaks down as the season progresses (sounds familiar).
In my mind, Shane already leapfrogged Ware on the depth chart if they are competing for the same spot, opposite of Miller. He is simply that good and that intense. His internal fire will never be extinguished.
Plus, and I might be crazy, but drafting Shane Ray kinda makes having DeMarcus and his bloated $10 million salary expendable come next season (too much dead money this year to realistically cut Ware). That's just food for thought.
My favorite quote from him of the night was when he was asked about playing for Peyton Manning and he said (paraphrase) "Peyton Manning is one of the best QBs in the history of the game, and I look forward to getting the ball back for him." I actually had a chuckle when I heard him say that because it reminded me of the movie "The Waterboy." That was a response I expected from Bobby Boucher (the waterboy). It was just an oversimplified way of saying "I'm going to set the league on fire and play like a dog with rabies!" I love it.
Lost in all of this, and one of the reasons why I smiled about us moving up for anyone (turned out to be Shane), was that we dumped the underachieving center known as Manny Ramirez. Holy salary dump, Batman! Thank you Detroit for picking up his $3 million salary. That fact alone makes moving up a genius move by Elway. We gave up two fifth-round picks? Meh, we also gave up Manny which cancels those picks out. Hell, Manny probably wouldn't have even made the team, so not only did we free up a roster spot, but we freed up cash as well.
But when the dust settles and smoke clears, lets face it, Shane Ray was the pick the second the Browns picked Cameron Erving. With him off the board, Shane was without a doubt the highest graded player at a position of need that the Broncos had.
Note: For those asking, being in Colorado will not hurt Shane at all from a marijuana standpoint. Remember, he got in trouble for possession of marijuana, not for smoking it. Well, possession is legal in Colorado. That means that had Shane Ray gone to CU Boulder in stead of Mizzou, he would have been a Top 10 pick because he never would have actually gotten in any trouble with the law. All the police officer would have done is say "Make sure to not smoke that and drive young man. You are free to go." How is that damaging to him? He never failed a drug test and wasn't high when pulled over. Again, he isn't a pot head. He got busted for possession, which is 100% legal in Colorado. If anything, being in Colorado is the perfect place for him so that he never gets in trouble for simple possession again.
And as far as the "yeah, but it's easy to get in Colorado" aspect is concerned, let me say this: It's easy to get weed EVERYWHERE in all 50 states. The only difference in Colorado is that he could walk into a store to purchase it (he never will) instead of ask a friend to purchase it for him. Why will he never do that? Easy, because he would be on the front page of the newspaper for walking into a pot shop. So really, its every bit as easy to get marijuana in any of the other 49 states as it is in Colorado, the only difference is that him simply having it in his car will no longer be illegal, so he'll never make the news for having it, unlike 48 other states.
Again, Bravo Mr. Elway, Bravo!