1st Round, Twelveth Overall: Broncos Select Ryan Clady

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Clady is the first football player ever to leave Boise State early. Why would anyone ever leave Boise early? Come to think of it, why would anyone go to Boise?

Granted, all I know of Boise is what I see in commercials during Boise State games. The place looks beautiful, a sparkling city surrounded by lush mountains and trout-laden streams, with a balloon always hovering eerily overhead. For all I know, the whole place is computer generated, like Narnia, or built to ensnare secret agents who know too much, like The Prisoner's Island. I've never been there, and unless I become the new number six I'll never go, even though the idea of getting plastered and watching a game on blue turf seems like grand fun. But the California-born Clady wasn't impressed by the commercials or the fishing; he went to Boise because he was a late-bloomer and few other programs expressed an interest.

Clady bloomed in Boise, starting three years on the Broncos offensive line and following in the footsteps of Daryn Colledge, now with the Packers. Clady even got to be a part of history: he was the lead blocker on the Statue of Liberty play against Oklahoma two years ago. He's a quick-footed giant who should excel as a pass blocker in the pros. He's a good fit in Denver, where they love nimble blockers. Best of all, he's still growing, which means that the 6-6, 315-pounder will soon be clearly visible on Google Earth.

Yeah, there's a downside. Clady played in one of those kitchen sink spread offenses at Boise, so he faces an adjustment. He isn't a bonecrusher. While he isn't that penalty-prone, Clady drew four flags against Washington, including a holding call that negated an important first down pass. He isn't as polished as Jake Long or Chris Williams. But he has the goods.

And the dude knows his way around the Mountain Time Zone, which must mean something.