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Broncos have signed first round pick Shane Ray to his rookie contract

The Broncos move closer to signing their entire rookie class.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

According to the Denver Broncos, they have signed first round pick, linebacker/edge rusher Shane Ray to his rookie contract. According to reports, According to reports, Ray signed a 4-year deal worth $9.116 million. Since the Ray is a first-round pick, the Broncos will the option to pick up the fifth year of his rookie deal.

The Denver Broncos traded up to select Missouri linebacker Shane Ray during last month's NFL Draft.Shane Ray played three seasons at Missouri and put up some solid numbers. During his three-year career, he totaled 120 tackles, 34 tackles for a loss, 19 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles. His best season came in 2014 when he totaled 65 tackles, 22.5 tackles for a loss, 14.5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. Ray was named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year while earning consensus first-team All-America status after leading the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss. He was All-SEC first team (AP, Coaches) and a Hendricks Award Finalist (nation's top defensive end). He was a semifinalist for the Lombardi and Bednarik awards.

Many believed the Broncos would address the edge rush position at some point during the 2015 draft. They DeMarcus Ware who isn't getting any younger, and All-Pro Von Miller entering his final year of his rookie contract. So the Broncos gave themselves a potential replacement for either player on the roster.

Also, Ray was considered a top 10 pick leading up to the draft, but a marijuana citation and a toe injury dropped Ray's stock. The Broncos had Ray ranked 10th on their draft board and decided to trade up to select him.

Denver Broncos General Manager mentions Ray's explosive play, rush ability and love of the game of football as the reasons why they selected Ray in the first round.

"We got a guy that plays with his hair on fire and rushes the passer and loves the game of football," Elway said. "He’s competitive and is going to be a great fit for us."

Shane Ray is expected to backup veterans Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, and possibly split reps with DeMarcus Ware at times during the season. This trio of pass rushers gives the Broncos one of the best, and deepest edge rushing unit in the NFL.

Ray is anxious to learn as much as he can from two of the best pass rushers in the game, and making every team pay for passing on him in the first round.

"All teams that passed on me, that were in the top 10, I felt like they made a huge mistake," he said. "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."

I cannot wait to see Ray at 100% health, and on the field with Von and/or Ware rushing the passer. You can never have enough pass rushers on your team, and I believe the Broncos got a steal with Shane Ray.