After much deliberation and arguments which led to the subsequent firing of Mike Shanahan, the Denver Broncos select with the 12th pick of the 2008 NFL draft.
RYAN CLADY OT BOISE STATE
Ryan is the best pure LT in this draft. He has good lateral agility and the athleticism to play his position. He has good size and is just as good blocking for the run as he is for the pass. Ryan looks like a smart kid and shows good mental toughness and stamina. He shows some leadership ability through his consistent play on the field. Ryan does an excellent job using his hands when pass blocking and is one of the few LTís in college that does not lunge when he gets beat. He does a good job recovering if he gets beat off the initial rush because he stays on balance and believes in his techniques. Some teams are going to rate Ryan higher on their draft boards than Jake Long.
Ryan needs to watch his weight and he will struggle a bit with the speed at the next level. He will have to work to become quicker out of his stance. But he has the talent to adjust and the work ethic to prevail.
Like I said, Ryan is a pure LT and some teams are going to rate him higher on their draft boards than Jake Long because Jake is more of a system LT. The truth is that you could flip a coin and take either player. They both should become core players and Pro Bowl players for the teams that draft them. I think with Ryan you might have a few more growing pains, but that is debatable also. What I like about Ryan is how smooth he is and how well he stays with his techniques. As soon as Ryan gets used to the speed of the NFL and gets in and out of his stance quicker, he will be an excellent LT. Ryan will have to work more on his quickness in blocking for the run than blocking for the pass, but as I always say, if you want a run-blocking LT, pull a guard. LTís must know how to pass block -- donít worry about how well they can run block. I like this kidís game a lot and the truth is that if I needed a LT it would be hard for me to decide who to pick. A pure LT trumps an LT that might have to be moved to LG. Thatís reality. So donít be surprised if Ryan moves up the charts.
Welcome to the Denver Broncos Ryan Clady and there's no-one who'd wish to welcome you more than Jay Cutler.
Pick made at 5-26pm Eastern Time. Bronco LB 52 and the Carolina Panthers are on the clock.