First-round lock makes it official
Boise State junior OLT Ryan Clady has declared for the NFL draft. Generally perceived as the second best available offensive tackle, behind Michigan senior Jake Long, Clady earned All-America honors this season from several national media outlets. The naturally athletic 6-6, 317-pound converted defensive lineman has started 39 consecutive games, twenty-six of which have come at left tackle over the last two seasons.
Clady is currently projected as a mid-first round pick, but must still obviously perform well in pre-draft workouts and will face a stiff challenge from Pittsburgh senior OLT Jeff Otah for the number two spot on draft boards behind Long.
Mr. Fourth Quarter declares for draft
Texas junior RB Jamaal Charles has declared as an early entry for the NFL draft. The Big 12’s leading rusher overcame a mid-season slump to record four 100-yard performances in his final five games, including a masterful 290-yard effort against Nebraska. In particular, Charles has sparkled in the fourth quarter of games this season, amassing a staggering 216 yards against the Cornhuskers, and 125 yards and two touchdowns in the final period the following week against Oklahoma State.
Charles possesses elite acceleration and top-end speed, and is expected to test off the charts at the combine. However, comparisons to former Oklahoma State standout Tatum Bell as a speedy back not capable of withstanding an NFL pounding, coupled with a significant crop of underclassmen expected to declare, likely pushes Charles out of the first round, if not the first day.
Of note, Charles becomes only the second early entry to declare for the draft in head coach Mack Brown’s reign at Texas. QB Vince Young, of course, was the first.