Shane Ray
Shane Ray (Missouri) poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the No. 23 overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago. Reuters/Dennis Wierzbicki/USA Today Sports

Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray believes he is going to be the best defensive player in the NFL's 2015 rookie class. The 22-year-old, who was selected with the No. 23 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, said he’s setting the bar high for his first season in the league.

"I don't see anything less than Defensive Rookie of the Year. I mean that's my goal," Ray, who played college football at Missouri, said via the league’s official website. "A lot of people might say that sounds cocky for you to say it right now, but I've always set high goals for myself, just like I did in college -- and that is something that I'm looking to prove, that I'm the best defensive rookie here.”

Ray made his prediction while attending the NFL rookie symposium Monday. Ray was a unanimous All-American member, SEC Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-SEC in his junior season with Missouri in 2014.

Entering the NFL, Ray is known for his explosiveness and speed. He was originally projected to be a second-round pick, but landed with the Broncos as a first-rounder. For his three-year college career, he is credited with 120 total tackles and 19 sacks.