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Shane Ray assures Elway he 'will not have any issues'

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CHICAGO -- If Shane Ray translates the passion and fire he displayed during his media sessions Thursday night onto the field, the Denver Broncos will be plenty happy with their first-round pick.

For the second consecutive day in Chicago, Ray faced the media following his Monday citation for marijuana possession. The Missouri product reiterated that he knows he made a mistake and told Broncos executive vice president John Elway it won't happen again.

"I guaranteed Mr. Elway that I will not have any issues," Ray told a swarm of reporters. "As I said before, I'm not a person who has character issues at all."

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that due to his citation, Ray will begin his NFL career in the league's substance abuse program. He will be tested frequently for two years, per league sources.

On Thursday the fired-up Ray said it meant "even more" that the Broncos were willing to trade up in order to target him. The defensive end said he plans to repay Denver by helping "dominate everybody we play."

Slated as a top-10 pick prior to his incident, Ray was incensed that some teams passed on him because of one "mistake."

"I will let all those teams know they made the hugest mistake of this draft," he said.

The 21-year-old conceded that the timing of his misstep was problematic, adding the past week has helped him grow as a person. But Ray was dismissive about people snickering any 'marijuana is legal in Colorado' jokes.

"Just because I was cited for marijuana possession doesn't mean I'm this huge smoker or some huge drug addict," Ray said. "If anybody looks at the police report, they'll understand I wasn't even under the influence. I haven't had any marijuana issues in my career. ... That's not a concern for me at all."

What is a concern for Ray is paying back all the teams who felt like he wasn't worth the risk.

"This does nothing but add fuel to my fire," he said. "I hope those teams understand that this is the kind of person I am. I will use this is as motivation. And I hope that I see every one of those teams. ... Oh yeah, (those teams that passed on me) they're all circled, best believe. Mentally, each team that passed me is circled."

Now it's time for Ray to walk the walk.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps the first round of the NFL Draft. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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