Would Ryan Clady be the number one pick in 2009?
Despite weak class, Clady happy he came out early
By Mike Klis
The Denver Post
How fortunate were the Broncos to get Ryan Clady with their No. 12 overall draft pick last year?
Had he decided not to skip his senior year of communication classes at Boise State, Clady most likely would have capitalized on a watered-down left tackle class and become the No. 1 overall choice this year.
The difference between No. 12 in 2008 and No. 1 in 2009: at least $22 million.
Not that Clady is ready to become a spokesman for the Stay in School program.
"It sounds good, but I'm happy with the decision I made," said Clady, who entered the 2008 draft after his redshirt junior season. "And I'm really happy with the place I ended up at. This is a good situation here. You never know how it could have turned out had I stayed one more year. I could have got hurt. Anything could have happened."
The Detroit Lions are considering quarterback Matthew Stafford or one of two left tackles, Eugene Monroe or Jason Smith, with their No. 1 pick this year.
Monroe and Smith are in the 310-pound range. Clady came out at 325 pounds and has longer arms and quicker feet than both of them. The only left tackle in this year's draft comparable to Clady is Alabama's Andre Smith, who would have been the No. 1 overall pick had he not blown off the combine. D'oh!
The Broncos wound up getting Clady last season for an $11 million guarantee. In return, the Broncos got a mobile fortress who gave up half-a-sack in 16 starts. Clady could have commanded roughly a $33 million guarantee this year as the No. 1 overall pick. Then again, Clady will reach his second contract a year earlier than had he stayed to take a few more speech classes.