OT Ryan Clady (6-6, 317) – Boise State
Strengths: He shows good agility for a man of his size. He has a solid base and uses his long wingspan to shield defenders. He has excellent technique and strong hands. He moves well laterally and keeps defenders at arms length. He dominates the opposition on passing downs by knocking speedy defenders back and disrupting their rush. He has good leg drive and is an effective run blocker.
Weaknesses: He doesn't show consistency in run blocking and has to finish off the opposition better. He has to work on his quickness and get a better push off the line. He doesn't play with a mean streak at all times and occasionally goes through the motions. He didn't play in an elite conference against top competition.
Steuber Says: "Although he played in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), Clady is the second best tackle in the nation next to Michigan's Jake Long. He has a world of potential, and with the NFL in need of superior talent on the offensive line, adding a highly touted left tackle is vital to a team's success. He is destined to be a top-15 pick in the April draft."
JC's Take: General manager Jerry Angelo said in his season-ending press conference last week that solidifying the quarterback position is his No. 1 priority this offseason, but it doesn't matter who lines up under center right now because this offensive line is over the hill.
If the Bears can find a stud left tackle in the draft who's capable of starting from Day 1, then they can move John Tait back to his natural home on the right side and potentially kill two birds with one stone. Fred Miller was an absolute embarrassment at right tackle this season with poor blocking and a ton of penalties, so expect him to be shown the door despite the fact that he's under contract through 2009. This team should have added at least one offensive line prospect on the first day of last April's draft, but they they chose to squeeze one more season out of an aging group – now they're paying the price.
Angelo isn't the kind of GM who's going to sacrifice draft picks in order to trade up for the sure thing in Long, who is this year's Joe Thomas, so Clady would make a lot of sense at No. 14.
John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.