NFL Draft: Boise’s Curtis Weaver and Ezra Cleveland Could Make History

Eight Years.

That’s how long it has been since Boise State has had two players go in the first round of the NFL Draft in one draft.

Shea McClellin and Doug Martin, the latter of which is still in the league, were drafted at picks 19 and 31 in 2012.

McClellin was an Idaho kid, who grew up in Caldwell before starting at Boise State. Martin, meanwhile, was born in Oakland.

Their journeys to the Blue are somewhat representative of a lot of Boise State players. The Broncos have heavily recruited in their backyard in the past, and players like Leighton Vander Esch and Tyler Shoemaker are great examples. Shea is right in there with them.

Boise has also recruited heavily from California, with Hank Bachmeier, Doug Martin, and Austin Pettis all finding their way to Boise from the Golden State.

But the one Bronco fans reverently refer to as ‘the chosen one’ came from a small town in Washington.

No, they’re not referring to Hayden Christensen. Y’all know who.

Kellen Moore grew up in Prosser, Washington, which is roughly a four-hour drive from Spanaway, Washington, where first-round hopeful Ezra Cleveland grew up.

Pancake Master

Cleveland played for Bethell High School before arriving in Boise as a two-star commit, a rather small number for a college that regularly racks up three and four-star commits like Alabama racks up five stars.

But Boise saw something in Cleveland that they liked, and they brought him in with open arms. Thank goodness they did.

He provided 40 games of top-notch starting o-line performance and was frequently the only consistent cog in an offensive front that let through defenders like a city bus center turnstile. Hank Bachmeier can attest to that.

Cleveland’s pancake blocks were legendary among fans. In an interview with Draftwire, he said he even had a special celebration for them.

“What we did here at Boise State, when we pancaked somebody, if that player had a towel, we’d rip it in half and put it in our pants (laughs).”

Now that is a player anybody would want on their team.

Cleveland’s fast rise and remarkable blocks quickly landed him in Bristol Connecticut for the 2020 NFL Combine. His ‘measurables’, basically the SAT of NFL entrance exams, passed the test.

6′ 6″ of pure human mass with a 30-foot vertical leap and 4.93 40 yard dash (faster than Tom Brady) drew a lot of eyes.

Those eyes include those of the Cleveland Browns, who are rumored to be seeking a trade back in the first round to take Cleveland.

No matter where he lands, his dramatic rise from a two-star recruit out of a small high school in Washington to a likely first-round NFL draft pick is remarkable.

Dream Weaver

Curtis Weaver, meanwhile, always grew up in the spotlight. He played in a city more than 4 times as big as Spanaway.

Weaver’s big-time play at St. Anthony’s High School in Long Beach, California, earned him a three-star recruiting ranking going into Boise.

It didn’t take long for him to make some noise.

The 2017 Boise State Broncos started off their season on a sweltering summer afternoon in early September.

Record temperatures that day forced many to leave the game early, but the heat didn’t stop Weaver from having quite the day. His first career start as a Bronco resulted in two sacks and two tackles for loss.

His stunning first performance set the stage for the rest of his career at Boise. He was a three-time 1st team all-Mountain West player. His final season, though, was easily the best. W

recorded 13.5 sacks and 52 total tackles. Accolades rained down on him once the season ended, as he won the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and multiple All-American awards.

All of his hard work earned him a spot in the NFL Combine, where he impressed with a great vertical jump and 20-yard shuttle.

Weaver mentioned specifically in an interview with Draftwire that he met formally with… wait for it… the Dallas Cowboys!

Kellen Moore, Demarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Cedrick Wilson, Leighton Vander Esch – all former Boise State players with Dallas. Moore is now the offensive coordinator.

If Weaver were to be drafted by Dallas, that would be three ex-Broncos with the Boys’ on the defensive line.

But it’s worth mentioning that there are a ton of 2nd round projections for Curtis Weaver, and Boise may well not have two first-round picks this season.

There is a chance though, and should Weaver be drafted in the first round with Cleveland, it would be a remarkable accomplishment for Boise State and the two incredibly talented athletes.


Ezra Cleveland: Cleveland Browns, Pick 24

Curtis Weaver: Dallas Cowboys, Pick 51

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