Matt "Drew Bledsoe With Feet" Ryan
Atlanta Falcons 2008 NFL Projection:
Nine times out of ten I don't get caught up in the hype over the next top quarterback drafted.
That's because the probability of any given high QB draft pick
ending up having a hall of fame career isn't very high.
The road is littered with selections that failed to impress or produce at the pro level.
In Matt Ryan, I think the Dirty Birds have one of the exceptions to my little rule above.
And I'll tell you why...
Matt Ryan reminds me a lot of the NFL's 7th all time passing yards leader... A guy who reached #7
in 196 games, essentially 12 years of play...
Check out these early
Matt Ryan NFL highlights.
A few of these passes remind me of Bledsoe strikes.
Bledsoe had the ability to complete passes to receivers who were double covered.
The ability was a gift. But sometimes it was a curse.
Many years he had to force it, because he didn't have top flight receivers.
Matt Ryan can also thread the needle with the football.
Looking back at Ryan's senior year. He didn't exactly have the best receivers at Boston College. I think his best may be yet to come.
Another key similarity with Drew is the 6' 5" height,
a big advantage for looking down the field...
While Bledsoe was a master of the deep ball, Ryan isn't quite there yet. But
Ryan has something Bledsoe didn't have... A bit of mobility. Okay, so he's not "you know who" mobile.
But for a guy 6' 5" he can sure do a bit of escaping!
I'm dubbing Matt Ryan, "Drew Bledsoe with feet."
Okay so I'm spending a lot of time on Ryan. But let's face it. There aren't too many
bright spots on the Falcons' 2008 roster. Not after last season...
Michael Turner joined the squad. It will be interesting to see how he fairs as a starter.
And Roddy White is coming off a fine season. It's a shame that
tight end Alge Crumpler departed for Tennessee... But even more problematic is an offensive
line that surrendered 47 sacks last season. Ryan (assuming he starts sooner than later)
will more than likely have to scramble a lot more than he'd
On the defensive side of the ball Atlanta ranked 29th in the league in 2007.
Tackle is a weak point, as is the secondary in general, especially with the departure of Hall.
Strong points are at defensive end with Abraham and in the linebacking unit with Lofton and
Atlanta was one of three teams in the NFC to surrender over 400 points last season.
And by the looks of it, a repeat performance seems likely.
In 2008 Atlanta will play
just four games versus teams that made the playoffs last season.
That's a welcome slate of games for a squad that's weak at both offensive and defensive line.
Atlanta may have some exciting years ahead with Ryan at the helm.
And he might even work his BC magic a few times this season to grab the Falcs a few wins.
But Atlanta is still in rebuilding mode. They need to shore up their lines better. And perhaps
next season they'll be more competitive... Overall we're predicting a record of
(3-13) for the 2008 Atlanta Falcons. Their best chances for wins appear to be home games
versus Detroit, Kansas City, and St. Louis.
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