The Las Vegas Valley has had no shortage of home-grown, highly drafted athletes in recent years, primarily in baseball.
Bryce Harper, a product of Las Vegas High School and the College of Southern Nevada, was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft, selected by the Washington Nationals. Kris Bryant, who as a youngster played with and against Mr. Harper, went to Bonanza High School and the University of San Diego, and was drafted No. 2 overall by the Chicago Cubs in 2013.
Last week, another prominent athlete made some Las Vegas history, this time in the NFL Draft. Ronnie Stanley, a hulking 6-foot-6-inch, 312-pound left tackle, was selected sixth overall by the Baltimore Ravens, making the former Bishop Gorman High School standout the highest NFL Draft pick ever from Las Vegas.
That honor previously belonged to former Bonanza High School running back Gerald Riggs, who in 1982 was drafted ninth overall by the Atlanta Falcons.
Mr. Stanley also helped put his college football program — storied Notre Dame — back on the map for producing top-flight talent by becoming the Fighting Irish’s first top-10 pick since 1994, when Bryant Young was drafted seventh overall by the San Francisco 49ers. Mr. Stanley is Notre Dame’s highest pick since 1993, when quarterback Rick Mirer went No. 2 to the Seattle Seahawks.
As a consensus All-American and three-year starter for the Irish, Mr. Stanley was expected to be a high pick. But despite a big NFL contract looming, Mr. Stanley will prove how grounded he is with one more big moment at Notre Dame. He promised his mother, Juli, that he would graduate, which he will do on May 15.
Mr. Harper is now the reigning National League Most Valuable Player, and this season, he’s helped put the Nationals atop the NL East Division. Mr. Bryant was named NL Rookie of the Year in 2015 for the Cubs, who this season have the best record in the majors and are the odds-on favorite to win the World Series.
And on the football field, Mr. Riggs was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and scored two touchdowns in the Washington Redskins’ 37-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI.
High draft picks from the valley certainly have a history of great success. Expect nothing less from the hard-working Mr. Stanley.