Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos' Ryan Clady Developing into NFL's Best Left Tackle

ENGLEWOOD, CO - JUNE 12: Offensive lineman Ryan Clady #78  of the Denver Broncos goes through stretching exercises during mini camp on June 12, 2008 at the Bronco training facility in Englewood, Colorado (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Anthony Contributor IAugust 1, 2009

I know this is a little late, but I recently joined Bleacher Report and I have always had this thought and just wanted to share my opinion.

In 2008, the Atlanta Falcons went 11-5 with their rookie quarterback Matt Ryan. Sure, that's deserving of rookie of the year, but I think another rookie deserved that title even more.

Ryan Clady, left tackle for the Denver Broncos

I'm not just saying this because he's on my favorite team. I personally think he had the credentials to be named rookie of the year without any question.

He was the only player in the NFL to give up less than a sack. The fact that he only gave up 0.5 sacks is just outstanding. What's even more impressive is that the Broncos had 616 passing plays.

If that doesn't deserve an award, then I don't know what does. I guess leading your team to the postseason as a rookie QB. I'm not taking anything away from Ryan, but he did have the best rushing game and a solid defense, but there was another rookie QB (Baltimore’s Joe Flacco) who did the same thing and went even farther in the playoffs.

Clady wasn't only good in the passing game. The rushing on the left side of the line was significantly better than the right. The Broncos were ranked 12th in the rushing game, but fifth on the left side.

Clady also only committed three penalties all year, with one of them being holding. They didn't even put Clady in the Pro Bowl. Jason Peters went instead, who gave up as many sacks as the whole Broncos' offensive line.

At least he was fortunate to get recognized in Week 14 as the Diet Pepsi Rookie of the Week.  He was also selected as a second-team All-Pro. Out of his stellar season, he is considered the best left tackle in the NFL. That's better than winning a rookie of the year award.


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