Shanahan comments on Rounds 1 & 2

Denver Broncos Head Coach Mike Shanahan comments on the Broncos' first two selections in the NFL Draft.

On first and second round draft picks
"We were hoping we would get these guys [T Ryan Clady and WR Eddie Royal] going into the first day. Eddie Royal is a guy that I think can help us immediately as a punt returner and a kickoff returner. We also liked him as an inside slot receiver even though he can play outside as well because he has the speed and quickness you look for. [He is a] very strong kid, 24 [repetitions of 225 pounds] on the bench. [He is] a guy that has a lot of experience in a lot of different areas. I'm happy to have him on our team."

On addressing special teams by picking Royal
"That's exactly what we were looking for is a punt returner/kickoff returner to start with. He's going to help us in that area. Any time you have a guy that you feel--at least the players feel--that any time he touches the ball he can go the distance, it helps you a lot on special teams. The mindset is completely different. Chicago is a great example of that. We've got a guy who has been back there [as a returner] and has been doing it consistently in both areas. He catches the ball extremely well and he's got great hands. He's a guy that we feel can obviously be part of the 45-man squad right away.

"The one thing that he really believes--and you can tell by the way he turns it up the field--is that every time he touches the ball he thinks he has the ability to make a big play and score. That's what you're looking for. A guy that has the speed, the quickness to make big plays and he wants to play that position. So many times you go out and get a wide receiver or a running back and they haven't played that position. You can try to project people, but here is a guy that has done it for a number of years and enjoys doing it. Hopefully he is what we think he will be at the NFL level."

On whether he has ever had his first two choices available when drafting
"It hasn't happened that way before, but we have never picked with the 12th pick, either. You have a little bit better chance, but you don't always know in the second round if that guy is going to be there."

On what Royal can contribute offensively
"I thought he was the best wide receiver versus bump coverage that came out [in the draft]. He has that type of ability to be bumped. That's where you start off as a wide receiver--if you can't beat bump coverage, usually you are selling cars in a short time, it's just the nature of the business--or you're coaching, one or the other. He has the ability to be bumped and he played with three other receivers who were fairly productive. I'm glad he didn't get a lot of balls because I think if he did he would have probably went earlier [in the draft].

"A lot of guys you get in the second round as wide receivers, it's a year's growth. It takes a while to understand the NFL and get used to it, but this is the type of guy that has the ability to help us in special teams and he doesn't have to help us right away [on offense]."

On addressing depth in the draft
"We have tried to get better at every position. If we think anybody that we can get is part of our 80-man squad and we can improve No. 78, 79 and 80, we are going to do that. There is a lot of detail that goes into it, but I've been pleased with what we have done thus far."

On the improvement of the AFC West during the first two rounds
"Any time you have a team picking fourth [Oakland], fifth [Kansas City] and 12th [Denver], you think you are going to get better. Obviously Kansas City has had a number of picks, and at least their first three picks, in my opinion, have been excellent. The Raiders got a back [RB Darren McFadden] that they think is a big-time productive back. He's got size, he's got speed. They see him fitting in their offense, so I think Kansas City, the Raiders and us--all three got better today.

On whether he considered moving out of the second round to acquire additional draft picks
"There could have been if Royal wasn't there. We had a number of options to move back and we could have gotten a third or a fourth, depending on how far back you want to go. You can do that quite a bit, but sometimes when you do that you lose out on guys that you think can help your football team."

On whether he will address defensive needs on the second day of the draft
"We don't know who is going to be there. We have a pecking order of different guys we like on offense and defense, and sometimes an offensive guy won't be there and it will be all defense--other times a defensive guy [won't be there]."

On selecting T Ryan Clady with the 12th overall pick in the draft
"I don't think we really surprised anybody by taking an offensive tackle. We had Ryan Clady in here for a couple of days, and we were really impressed with him as a person. [He is] obviously a left tackle that we think is an excellent athlete that will fit into our scheme extremely well. We felt very fortunate that he was there."

On whether Clady will start as a rookie
"He will start at left offensive tackle the day he comes in. There will be some competition, obviously. We've got [T] Ryan Harris that can play both sides. We've got [G Chris] Kuper that can play inside and outside. So we have a little more depth at the offensive line position.

"We really felt going into this draft, when you take a look at our tackle position, you have Ryan Harris who had surgery on his back last year and came back very good, very quickly. So he's got a big upside there. We felt like we needed more depth on the right side along with [T] Erik Pears and a guy like Kuper who has the ability to play both inside and outside. The one thing about the offensive line--it's hard to get people in the later rounds and expect them to come in and play. Every once in a while, you get lucky like we did last year with Kuper who came in and played extremely well for our fifth round draft choice a couple years ago [fifth round out of North Dakota in 2006]. I'm very pleased with him. To get a guy like this who we had as the top tackle after [Jake] Long, we felt pretty lucky for him to be there."

On evaluating Clady
"You obviously go through everything. You go through football; You sit down with him and get a feel for what type of guy he is. You get an idea of how he reacts to certain situations, how he understands pass protections, running schemes. [He is] a guy that that was very impressive.

"The thing that impresses you is his feet. I haven't been around a tackle that has that type of feet. He's got the longest arms in the draft. Here is a guy that is 6'6, 315 pounds, 320 pounds. He's got excellent, excellent feet and you don't find that very often. That's why he was predicted to go as high as [No.] 5 and the average was [No.] 8. We really didn't think he was going to be there. There are a few excellent tackles in this draft--I'll be surprised if six guys don't go in the first round, obviously because they are needed. It's hard to play this game without protection and I think there will be at least six guys that go."

On whether he talked to Colorado Head Coach and former Boise State Head Coach Dan Hawkins about Clady
"I didn't, but we've got our scouts that talk to everybody. We spend a lot of time investigating these guys and going over character and obviously what they think about this guy, but it didn't take a genius to figure out that this guy had great feet and we're happy to have him."

On whether Clady is better at run blocking or pass blocking
"With a person who has feet like, that it's hard to change people's quickness and their ability to react. He can do both. That's one of the reasons why we were going to put him in the left tackle position to start with and see if he can keep it. We are going to have some competition with guys like Ryan Harris who can play either way. Ryan might be on the right side competing with Erik [Pears] and [Chris] Kuper."

On whether the Broncos were going to select an offensive tackle no matter what transpired on draft day
"No, we weren't. There are a lot of different directions you could go because you're not really sure what's going to happen. We could have had our three top tackles off the board and we would have went in a different direction. But we had three guys in there that we felt were legitimate left tackles that could play, and play well."



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