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Is Joe Flacco really that Good? Are we evaluating him different than Matt Ryan


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http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/player/profile?playerId=146278

When you casually glance at Flacco's stats and see 4200 yds, 23 Tds and 5 Ints and watch his highlights you see a big time player, who may sneak into the first round. But when you dig deeper into his bio/stats, you see a guy that couldn't beat out Tyler Palko at Pitt, and prior to this year only had one year of experience and pedestrian numbers against weak talent.

A further breakdown of Flaccos stats show that the first 8 games of the season he had

2400 yds (average 300 per game) 74% completion 13 TDs and 3 INTs and averaged an almost 170 QB rating; which even by the inflated college rating is outstanding

The last 7 games Flacco's numbers were as follows:

Approximately 1800 yards with 52% completion percentage rate 10 TDs and 2 INTs and his QB rating dropped down to 126 when averaged over those 7 games. Including an 82 QB rating against Villananeuva.

The stats point to a very inconsistent and raw talent. What's more problematic is that this alarming disparity in from the first half of the season to the last half was against very weak competition. Other than Appalachian State, Delaware didn't play top flight competition.

What makes Flacco even more suspect is that Deleware had an almost 2000 yard rusher in Omar Cuff. In other words Flacco was not asked to do it all. What was most alarming is that when Appalachian State shut down Cuff, Flacco responded with a 47.9 completion % and one touchdown.

One reason I have delved so deeply and critical into Flacco's stats is not simply to dismiss his talent--he does have a very strong arm. But there are those on this board that seem to view him in the can't miss prospect category and are enamored by his collegiate production. Where the reality is that his collegiate production was very heavily skewed by a sizzling first half of the season.

The other reason I have been so critical of Flacco is due to the unwarranted nitpicking of Matt Ryan and the silly comparisons of him and Flacco's collegiate production. First of all, Ryan played on a weekly basis much more talented teams. Second of all BC's total rushing output as a team was 1400 yards with Callender leading the team with only 218 carries and 989 yds. Compare that to the Blue Hens 600 rushing attempts and almost 2700 yards team rushing.

Point blank Matt Ryan accomplished a lot without a great supporting cast.

Flacco is a project with huge flaws.

So in conclusion, the most NFL ready QB is Matt Ryan. The scouts are right the kid is as close to don't miss as they get. Could he bust? Sure, but nothings certain in life.

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falconva7 (2/3/2008)
The bottom line is there are no good QBs in this draft. We shouldn't take one just because we need one if the talent isn't there because there will be plenty of good players at need positions in this draft in rounds 1-4.

You bring up a good point. I hesitate to say that Ryan isn't any good--i believe that he is. I do think he would be a late first rounder in other drafts, however. But more importantly to me is the question of whether or not he fits the direction the Franchise is going. Less important than his measurables (which are great) are the intangibles Ryan brings. I think Ryan does set himself apart from all the QBs in the leadership dept and certainly distances himself from Flacco.

Hopefully, the new administration will be more strategic in their decision making and if they draft Ryan will commit to building him a supporting cast and not keep changing coordinators and systems like the old administration did with Vick.

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How does this conclude that Matt Ryan is the most NFL ready QB?? Flacco is very raw, and probably is the least ready QB besides maybe Brennan. This is not a good comparison. I like Flacco, but I'm not in love with him. Brian Brohm is by far the most NFL ready QB in this draft. He has been playing at a very consistantly high level for 4 years now. Can't say the same for Ryan.

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atlfalcon2184 (2/3/2008)
How does this conclude that Matt Ryan is the most NFL ready QB?? Flacco is very raw, and probably is the least ready QB besides maybe Brennan. This is not a good comparison. I like Flacco, but I'm not in love with him. Brian Brohm is by far the most NFL ready QB in this draft. He has been playing at a very consistantly high level for 4 years now. Can't say the same for Ryan.

I agree with you on Brohm being a great prospect. In fact I would say that Brohm and Ryan are the most NFL ready QBs. However, I think the edge goes to Ryan as he runs a more pro type offense and Brohm played the Petrino Spread (worked great) out of the shotgun most of the time.

Its a great comparison. #1 Many (not saying you) are very in love w/ Flacco and view him as the same quality prospect early on as Ryan. Will Flacco evolve? Could with the right coaching. The reason for the comparison is because the reason Ryan has been projected to the Falcons is because of the immediate the team has at QB and Flacco is definitely a project.

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grendel (2/3/2008)
Flacco is definitely being boosted based on potential. The differences are:

1 - He's not being hyped into the top 5 picks in the draft based on potential

2 - Much of Ryan's competition has been only marginally better (if at all) than the group Flacco has faced. For example, Ryan faced Army this year, and he gave up 2 interceptions. Given that Flacco's competition is not as good as the Div 1-A QB's, he's at least been dominant and hasn't made a lot of mistakes, unlike Matt "Interception Machine" Ryan

3 - Flacco at least has elite physical qualities like being 6'6", 230 lbs, with a laser rocket arm. He frequently shrugs off hits from LBers and is mobile enough to break off a big run if the field opens up. Matt Ryan is pretty pedestrian physically. The advantage listed for Ryan is his "intangibles". When I see Ryan's "intangibles" mentioned, I translate this as "he went to the same school as Mike Mayock."

On the Tyler Palko stuff: By your logic, Tom Brady is garbage because he couldn't beat out Drew Henson. Brady's and Flacco's college careers actually have a lot of parallels. Stuck behind what proved to be an inferior older starting QB, they are both only 2 year starting QB's. Both struggled a bit in their 1st year starting, then dominated their 2nd year.

Ok, even you will admit Drew Henson was a helluva lot better prospect than Palko was. And BTW Brady, using my logic, stayed at Michigan and bit his tongue and remained a valuable team leader for Michigan. He didn't transfer to SE Michigan State or some other Division II school. Using my logic, Flacco is either a quitter or has little confidence in his ability to beat Palko or overvalued his own skills.

The big difference is that Flacco is in the post-Brady era, when no stone goes unturned looking for the next great QB. You won't see any QB put up big numbers like Brady and Flacco did in their Senior year, then look good at the Senior Bowl and slip to the 6th round. Even Colt Brennan won't slip that far, IMO. Flacco looking better out there than most of the Div 1-A QB's and improving steadily over the week, showing that he's coachable, earned him a position in the 2nd round. He's a good prospect, and I expect he'll be a very good pro.

Flacco looked ok at best in the senior bowl. The 50 yard interception while indicative of arm strength was horribly thrown. He's got a gun, but so did Ryan Leaf. I'm not saying Flacco can't become a good pro, I am saying he's years away. Matt Ryan could start right off the bat. The Falcons aren't really in the position to draft a QB that's 3 or 4 years from starting.

If the Falcons pass on Ryan for McFadden or other prospect, then Brian Brohm, Chad Henne or John David Booty are really the only 3 that are close to NFL ready. But all 3 have had durability issues. Brohm and Booty both may not have the arm strength for a vertical passing game that Mularkey likes, and you could easily see both of them being WCO types. But you cite issues with Ryan's decisionmaking, how bout Henne's accuracy and look at his TD to INT ratio?

Ryan's a good prospect

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i'd say no to both

Ryan is a choke artist supreme

Flacco wasnt mentioned by anyone until about 4 weeks ago, he does have great arm strength & size but he didnt play 1 lick of competition in college & put up just pretty good #'s. If were going to take someone 2A we need someone like Josh Johnson, 49tds & 1 Int I believe, now those are the #'s you should be doing against no competition.

Plus there are 2 very good passers who have phenomenal mobility & if we can get that we should as we build our line back up

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USCfalcons23 (2/3/2008)
i'd say no to both

Ryan is a choke artist supreme

Flacco wasnt mentioned by anyone until about 4 weeks ago, he does have great arm strength & size but he didnt play 1 lick of competition in college & put up just pretty good #'s. If were going to take someone 2A we need someone like Josh Johnson, 49tds & 1 Int I believe, now those are the #'s you should be doing against no competition.

Plus there are 2 very good passers who have phenomenal mobility & if we can get that we should as we build our line back up

I'd be perfectly happy with Josh Johnson. I just hope he didn't improve his stock too much with his performance at the Shrine Game.

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Ryan and Flacco are both being hyped on potential.

But the difference of course as Grendel stated, one is being hyped as a top 5 pick.

Not to mention Flacco has MORE upside because of his great size and arm strength.

In all honestly Flacco is more of a project than Josh Johnson. But Johnson is being punished for being a dual threat QB so people assume he's a project. But unlike Flacco he played in a pro style offense. And he also has been taught better passing mechanics than Flacco. He also knows how to go through his progressions which is something Flacco can't even be seen doing once on an entire highlight reel.

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The Cush (2/3/2008)
Flacco is a boom or bust guy. And he really doesn't have tremendous stats coming from a small school. Yes, he has the size and the arm, but we all know that that ultimately is not THE determining factor in the success of a QB.

There is no way in the world I would draft Flacco in Round 2.

I think it's pretty unfair that Flacco's stock is that high and Johnson's isn't but Flacco has that size which is something we can't ignore. If Josh Johnson was 20-30 pounds heavier people might be considering him in the 1st.

He isn't falling to the 2nd day though. People learned from Brady about dropping a guy just because of how skinny he is. And of course JJ won't exactly run a 5.3 40

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grendel (2/3/2008)
The Cush (2/3/2008)
Flacco is a boom or bust guy. And he really doesn't have tremendous stats coming from a small school. Yes, he has the size and the arm, but we all know that that ultimately is not THE determining factor in the success of a QB.

There is no way in the world I would draft Flacco in Round 2.

I somewhat agree with this, although he's alleviated some of those fears at the Senior Bowl. IMO, though, great teams take risks, and I'd be willing to risk one of two 2nd round picks on a guy who has the tools to be a great franchise QB.

Looks like he is two years away, at least. But how vocal is he, is he a leader in the huddle? Can he read defenses? Those are just as important as height, weight, and arm strength. And he hasn't shown to have any of those yet, so I take a guy who has...
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The Cush (2/3/2008)

I somewhat agree with this, although he's alleviated some of those fears at the Senior Bowl. IMO, though, great teams take risks, and I'd be willing to risk one of two 2nd round picks on a guy who has the tools to be a great franchise QB.

Looks like he is two years away, at least. But how vocal is he, is he a leader in the huddle? Can he read defenses? Those are just as important as height, weight, and arm strength. And he hasn't shown to have any of those yet, so I take a guy who has...

Vocal leadership is overrated.

What will make Flacco a boom or bust is whether or not he can learn to read a defense and go through his progressions.

He doesn't seem like a head case and he has all the right physical tools. So really his mental makeup on the field will make him or break him. It's up to him how great he can be

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busboyisback (2/3/2008)
The Cush (2/3/2008)

I somewhat agree with this, although he's alleviated some of those fears at the Senior Bowl. IMO, though, great teams take risks, and I'd be willing to risk one of two 2nd round picks on a guy who has the tools to be a great franchise QB.

Looks like he is two years away, at least. But how vocal is he, is he a leader in the huddle? Can he read defenses? Those are just as important as height, weight, and arm strength. And he hasn't shown to have any of those yet, so I take a guy who has...

Vocal leadership is overrated.

What will make Flacco a boom or bust is whether or not he can learn to read a defense and go through his progressions.

He doesn't seem like a head case and he has all the right physical tools. So really his mental makeup on the field will make him or break him. It's up to him how great he can be

Exactly.

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grendel (2/3/2008)
busboyisback (2/3/2008)

Vocal leadership is overrated.

What will make Flacco a boom or bust is whether or not he can learn to read a defense and go through his progressions.

He doesn't seem like a head case and he has all the right physical tools. So really his mental makeup on the field will make him or break him. It's up to him how great he can be

Right, and that's what I was talking about with the Senior Bowl. He put in a lot of work to pick up the things he needed to learn, like taking his drops, and he made a lot of progress. Being coachable and learning quickly is one of the most important things for a young QB.

Very true. The first day of Senior Bowl practices he struggled mightily from finally taking a snap from under the center. Just a few days later, he had drastically improved in that regard.

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Ok. Maybe I shouldn't have included the word vocal. However, leadership at the QB position is extremely important. Keep in mind when I say these things, that I am not saying he doesn't have these things or that he won't become a good QB. I'm simply saying that he hasn't shown me enough in college to warrant a 2nd round selection. He played at a small school and didn't actually produce eye-popping numbers. For that reason alone, he's not a 2nd rounder, IMO, regardless of the measurables.

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( Quote =Point blank Matt Ryan accomplished a lot without a great supporting cast.

Flacco is a project with huge flaws.

So in conclusion, the most NFL ready QB is Matt Ryan. The scouts are right the kid is as close to don't miss as they get. Could he bust? Sure, but nothings certain in life. Quote )

1. I like both Ryan and Flacco, I want one of them but I want Flacco more BC of QB risk %

2. For you to say that Flacco had a greater Supporting cast than Ryan is totally backwards and 100% not true , you have this part totally turned around . Ryan had one of the best OLs in College . I woul love to have seen what Flacco could have done with an OL that good.

3. I actully think Flacco has a much higher ceiling than any QB i nthe draft , JMO.

4. If we take Ellis , it would assure this team that we got at least one great player in this draft , DTs have the greatest success in the first rounds and QBs ahve the lowest , I think TD will not risk a flop in his first DRAft , personally I hope he looks at all our draft s with that kind of philosophy , NO RISK picks.

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Eric Obraiden (2/3/2008)
grendel (2/3/2008)

Flacco looked ok at best in the senior bowl. The 50 yard interception while indicative of arm strength was horribly thrown. He's got a gun, but so did Ryan Leaf. I'm not saying Flacco can't become a good pro, I am saying he's years away. Matt Ryan could start right off the bat. The Falcons aren't really in the position to draft a QB that's 3 or 4 years from starting.

If the Falcons pass on Ryan for McFadden or other prospect, then Brian Brohm, Chad Henne or John David Booty are really the only 3 that are close to NFL ready. But all 3 have had durability issues. Brohm and Booty both may not have the arm strength for a vertical passing game that Mularkey likes, and you could easily see both of them being WCO types. But you cite issues with Ryan's decisionmaking, how bout Henne's accuracy and look at his TD to INT ratio?

Ryan's a good prospect

i find it extremely strange that you are touting ryan as a good prospect, one that might be able to come in and contribute right away (or "NFL Ready"), yet you compare him to qb prospects that will go in the 2nd round. honestly, the reason there is a comparison to be made between, say, flacco and ryan or henne and ryan is because ryan hasnt done anything more than them to distinguish himself as an nfl prospect, and i dont understand the hype.

what has he done that the others havent done?

has he proved he can win, or that he is clutch? hardly. his "clutch" comeback performance was only made a reality because virginia tech elected to let off the pressure and only rush him with 3 guys. true as it may be that henne never beat ohio state and seems to have trouble in big games, the same was said of peyton manning, and also of eli manning. and look at them now.

flacco has a much stronger arm than ryan, and despite his poor end to the season, i still think he is a good prospect. of course he is not a "sure-thing" but i dont think proving that flacco is a sure thing (which i dont think many people have alluded to anyways) proves that ryan is any more of a sure thing. in fact, it certainly does not. the fact that they are both so similar, and inconsistent, really only benefits brian brohm. i have no idea why matt ryan is considered a better qb than brohm. brohm has very good footwork despite working out of the shotgun for the majority of his time at Louisville (if not the whole time). he has a truly great football IQ, and is extremely intelligent and proficient at dissecting defenses and making good decisions. he put up better numbers than ryan, period. he completed over 60% of his passes each of the last 3 seasons, period. i believe there were 2 or 3 games this year that he didnt complete over 60% of his passes, and i believe there was one game under 50%. his consistency is as remarkable as the hype of matt ryan, but makes much more sense. whoever drafts brian brohm will get the most nfl ready QB in the draft, and i think he will be better than matt ryan.

please explain to me how ryan's pedestrian numbers along with his inablility to guide his team to a chance at the national championship (which a vastly superior team, especially on defense, to brian brohm's) makes him an elite prospect.

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BigDaddyFalcon21 (2/3/2008)
I really thought Ryan Leaf was gonna be a cant miss prospect....man he was a big strong arm qb like Flacco....would Leaf had been better elsewhere? maybe maybe not.....the qb position is so much a crapshoot its hard to tell who will be good and who wont be good

No such thing as a can't miss prospect. Ryan was a guy who had upside.

But Ryan did not throw a great spiral, he had an awkward sidearm release, was very slow at dropping back, he was kinda like a Leftwich in the bulky immobile sense, and most importantly he was a complete and total head case.

Flacco seems to have a better head on his shoulders and throws a much better ball. He also isn't quite as immobile and has a much more natural drop back.

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Draftnut57 (2/3/2008)
( Quote =Point blank Matt Ryan accomplished a lot without a great supporting cast.

Flacco is a project with huge flaws.

So in conclusion, the most NFL ready QB is Matt Ryan. The scouts are right the kid is as close to don't miss as they get. Could he bust? Sure, but nothings certain in life. Quote )

1. I like both Ryan and Flacco, I want one of them but I want Flacco more BC of QB risk %

I understand your logic here

2. For you to say that Flacco had a greater Supporting cast than Ryan is totally backwards and 100% not true , you have this part totally turned around . Ryan had one of the best OLs in College . I woul love to have seen what Flacco could have done with an OL that good.

Draft, no disrespect but how can you say that Flacco didn't have a supporting cast? He had a 1900 yard rusher and a couple of thousand yard receivers. In the past it was a true statement to say BC's line was one of the best, but not this year. BC's line was not as good this year as they were transitioning to a zone blocking scheme under our old line coach. In fact Cherilus' draft stock took a plummet because he fared poorly in the scheme. Everything I said about Ryan's cast being diminished is 100% true.

3. I actully think Flacco has a much higher ceiling than any QB i nthe draft , JMO.

Again i didn't say he didn't have potential. I do, however, think he has serious flaws and potential leadership issues. He does have a huge arm--but so did another quiet leader in college, a guy named Ryan Leaf. Flacco has a great chance of melting down in a pressure pot like ATL. There is no way this staff suffers through Redman or Leftwich or Joey again.

4. If we take Ellis , it would assure this team that we got at least one great player in this draft , DTs have the greatest success in the first rounds and QBs ahve the lowest , I think TD will not risk a flop in his first DRAft , personally I hope he looks at all our draft s with that kind of philosophy , NO RISK picks.

Don't take this the wrong way, but Jonathan Sullivan, Jimmy Kennedy, Gerard Warren, Ryan Sims (he was ok), Wendall Bryant are all very high first round flops, busts or not worth the pick DT examples. In fact a guy that was overdrafted was Mike Patterson, whom one can argue was almost as dominant as Sedric Ellis at the collegiate level, but pedestrian in the NFL. Ellis may very well be studly in the NFL but I think the right system is key for him. Put him in a Tampa 2 Defense like the Colts run, or an interior blitzing one gap like Philly runs, he'll be studly. Expect him to play 2 gap or 3-4 and you negate his speed.

which is why Ellis doesn't fit the Jacksonville model of Big huge DTs like Stroud and Henderson who are more brute warriors

Thank you very much for the discussion, it's quite enjoyable and i appreciate you taking the time to reply, and please do not take offense at my responses to you---just my opinion

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In fact a guy that was overdrafted was Mike Patterson, whom one can argue was almost as dominant as Sedric Ellis at the collegiate level, but pedestrian in the NFL.

I'm not sure who made this post, but Patterson was not "overdrafted". In fact, the Eagles already extended him to 2016 (!). He led all rookie DTs in tackles in 05 and was second among all DTs in solo tackles in 2007. He was one of the worst Pro Bowl oversights of the year. Patterson is a stud.

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