Did the Denver Broncos Blow it With Their First Round Draft Pick?
The NFL Draft is pretty much a crap shoot, there are no guarantees. But, did the Denver Broncos blow it with their first round draft pick?
It's been no secret that the Broncos set out to upgrade their offensive line this off-season. The number one priority has to be finding a way not only to protect quarterback Peyton Manning and keep him from getting sacked too much, but also to just give him time to throw the football. The offensive line is in the process of pretty much a complete make over.
So, it was somewhat surprising that Denver chose Missouri defensive end Shane Ray with their first pick - for several reasons. First, is the idea that the Broncos need to build up the offensive line, and early in the draft is a great place to find linemen that can come in and contribute right away.And giving away starter Manny Ramirez to Detroit so they could move up in the draft to take Ray creates yet another hole the Broncos need to fill.
Sure, we need to think about finding a replacement for the aging DeMarcus Ware, but that's not going to happen until after Peyton's gone. Right now, we need to worry about the here and now, and doing what we can to get that Super Bowl ring while Manning is here. Hopefully, they can find some of that much needed help later in the draft.
Beyond that are two red flags that come with Shane Ray. Earlier this week he was busted for marijuana possession. Not a huge deal, necessarily, except that smoking marijuana is against NFL rules. Can a guy who obviously has a liking for pot say 'no' to it playing in state where it is perfectly legally to smoke it?
It's not necessarily that I care if he smokes weed, nor do I think he's a bad guy because he does. But, the fact is, if he is going to help this team get to the Super Bowl he has to be on the field and not serving some suspension for illegal drug use. We have seen it too many times --guys that have a problem with pot in college often times have a difficult time turning off their desire for it once they get to the NFL -and they end up in trouble.
The other red flag is a toe injury that has plagued Ray. It may end up not being a big deal at all. But, at the same time, there is the possibility that it could plague him his entire career and cause him to miss a ton of games. That does the Broncos absolutely no good. Only time will tell about that.
The Broncos might have made the best first round draft selection since Von Miller. Or they might have made their worst first round decision since taking Tim Tebow. Only time will tell.