Eisenhower High School has a right to puff out its chest today, as 2004 graduate Ryan Clady was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of today’s NFL Draft. Clady, an offensive tackle at Boise State, joins pretty elite company, as he was the first Ike graduate to be drafted in the first round since Ronnie Lott, who was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. Clady wasn’t quite picked as high as Lott, going No. 12 to the Hall of Fame safety’s No. 8, but Denver could be the perfect place for him.
Clady has been lauded for his athletic ability throughout the draft process, and he certainly passes the eye test. I was at his draft party today at the LAX Hilton and he is impressive. Although he is 310-315 pounds, Clady doesn’t seem heavy at all – in fact, he seems pretty streamlined. And in the Denver zone blocking scheme, where movement and blocking in space is emphasized over one-on-one combat with the defender in front of you, Clady’s quick feet will come into play.
It was a playful atmosphere at the LAX Hilton, marking a great rise from being a lightly-recruited defensive tackle from Ike to the first first-round draft pick in Boise State history. At least 100, likely more, people came through to be part of the festivities, which included a sweet ice sculpture of the Lombardi Trophy that was dedicated to Ryan. Clady’s family from Carson, Los Angeles and San Diego all took part in the day, with Clady working the room and seeing more relaxed than I could have been.
I had never been to a Draft party and from what I have seen on TV over the years, I expected Clady to be quiet, nervous and focused. But Clady strolled in a half-hour after the draft started and barely gave the television much attention, instead soaking in the adoration of his loving family. It was pretty cool to see and be a party of.