Has this been posted yet? Some flattering words for Clady:
By Matt Sohn
Oct. 7, 2008
A record eight offensive tackles were snagged in the first round last April, and seven of them honed their skills in one of the NCAA’s so-called “power conferences.” Led by Michigan’s Jake Long, the two-time Big Ten Lineman of the Year, the first 31 picks included Chris Williams (Vanderbilt), Branden Albert (Virginia), Gosder Cherilus (Boston College), Jeff Otah (Pittsburgh) and Duane Brown (Virginia Tech). So naturally, it has been the lone non-BCS representative that has emerged as the class of the first-round linemen.
On the one hand, the notion that Boise State’s Ryan Clady has surpassed all of his first-round brethren shouldn’t be classified as a major shock.
After all, only Long was selected ahead of him. Nevertheless, there was perhaps more uncertainty regarding Clady than any of the others. Not only did he spend his collegiate career beating up on WAC opponents, there were also questions about his maturity. Then, when bench-pressing at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine, he suffered a pectoral injury that rendered him not much more than a Hulk-sized observer for most of the week in Indianapolis.
Thus far, he has quelled all concerns, emphatically. As outstanding as Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall have been, a case could be made that Clady has been the best and most consistent cog in an offense racking up 415 yards per game. Maybe it’s the athleticism, maybe it’s the coaching, or maybe it’s the comfort that comes from being a Bronco during his collegiate career. Point is, he’s just getting it done.
Clady still hasn’t allowed a sack, and hasn’t so much as ticked his way to a false start — the next ball of yellow laundry thrown his way will be the first.
Should he keep up his play, we could be seeing a rookie tackle strapping it up in Honolulu for the second consecutive season (Browns OLT Joe Thomas did the trick last year).
2. Broncos OT Ryan Clady (1-12)
Last week’s ranking: 5
If there was a Lineman of the Week award (which, given how oversaturated the NFL’s “award” list is, you figure there would be), Clady would’ve been a strong candidate for the weekend that was. Clady stonewalled Bucs 2007 top-five pick Gaines Adams throughout the afternoon, enabling the Broncos to do just enough in a surprisingly low-scoring victory.