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Vinnie Iyer on Ryan


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The eyes have it: Ryan is draft's top QB prize

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Posted: February 20, 2008

I can't guarantee that Matt Ryan, fresh off his great senior season at Boston College, will be a great NFL quarterback for many years to come. After all, knowing what has happened with quarterbacks previously selected in the first round -- where Ryan is certain to go -- already puts his chances for success at about 50-50.

But I'm pretty confident Ryan will end up in the better half, a la Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers from four drafts ago, instead of falling into the lower bin with, say, Byron Leftwich, Kyle Boller and Rex Grossman from five drafts ago.

First, let's get all the obvious reasons for Ryan's pro promise out of the way. He shows the arm strength, athleticism, accuracy, altitude (6-4 3/4) and attitude needed to thrive in the NFL.

Then again, we've seen much of that before in Leftwich, Boller and Grossman, without successful results. So what sets Ryan apart to put him in the "better" category of first-round QBs, which includes two Super Bowl-winning passers?

He's got that look. And really, it took only one good, long look at him to tell -- in Boston College's nationally televised Thursday night game at Virginia Tech on Oct. 25.

At that point in the season, with Boston College undefeated and ranked No. 2, what happened in Blacksburg, Va., was viewed as Ryan's "Heisman Trophy moment". Of course, after that the Eagles dropped two straight games, and gone were all chances for Ryan to lead his team to a BCS championship or bring home the best individual hardware. Still, the road comeback Ryan led BC to over the Hokies that night still holds up for me as his "NFL Draft moment."

Here's a reason why quarterback evaluation is such an inexact science: Playing football's toughest position creates too many variables for which to account. And no matter how many stopwatches and tape measures you use, there has been nothing invented to accurately measure heart, moxie and the necessary "amnesia" to play QB at a high level.

Ryan didn't look that good for three and a half quarters of the game against the Hokies. The Virginia Tech defense, a unit that may yield eight draft picks this April, played a part in that. The Hokies provided good pressure and coverage, intercepting Ryan twice while limiting him to a completion percentage well below 50 percent for the game.

But with 4:11 left and the Eagles trailing 10-0, Ryan sandwiched 92- and 66-yard touchdown drives around a successful onside kickoff attempt to lift BC to a stunning 14-10 victory.

Ryan gave "the look" many times on those drives. He fired the ball to find receivers all over the field, and even looked great fighting for a key first down as a scrambler. The most appealing thing about Ryan in that game is that he simply forgot about having an off night statistically and did the most important job for a quarterback: making the plays that win games.

This isn't to say Ryan is the perfect franchise QB prospect, because, if you've been paying attention, there's no such thing. On top of the shaky first 56 minutes against the Hokies, Ryan threw three picks in a letdown loss against Florida State the following week. And the next time he faced the Hokies, in the ACC championship game, he finished with no TDs and two late interceptions in a 30-16 loss.

But there's just something about Ryan I like more than Louisville's equally prolific and pedigreed Brian Brohm, and even the two most coveted quarterbacks of last year's draft, JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn. I like the way Ryan carried himself on the field, and I like the way he carried an offense that didn't have elite players at the other skill positions.

With every quarterback, there's something he does that catches the eye of a scout, a coach, a general manager -- someone, somewhere down the line in the evaluation process -- that eventually dictates why and by whom the prospect gets drafted.

Those eye-catching moments should happen a few times over this Sunday for Ryan, who is expected to be among the quarterbacks to actually go through workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Off the field, Ryan already has proved he is a high-character guy, and he's bound to sell a few more people when he goes through passing drills.

Ryan already passes the eyeball test, and that's enough to think his future is well worth watching.

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The way I look at the two,

Brohm & Ryan

Petrino,

Bailing on Louisville,

New cord,

New coach

Cost BROHM #1, IMO

BTW-He probably lost a trophy , too!

Quarterbacks

Player Current Lask Week Change PASS/PG RUSH/PG CMP% TOT TD INT SOS

1. Graham Harrell, TXTECH 170.52 170.52 +0.00 438.85 -7.00 71.8 52 14 62

6. Colt Brennan, HI 131.02 131.02 +0.00 361.92 2.25 70.4 46 17 110

4. Paul Smith, TLS 136.77 136.77 +0.00 **361.79 8.50 60.1 ***60*** 19 ***81***

8. Brian Brohm, LOU 116.79 116.79 +0.00)) 335.33 -3.83 )))65.(((1 33 12 )))26(((

9. Chase Holbrook, NMST 115.92 115.92 +0.00 322.17 0.42 70.2 28 18 100

7. Matt Ryan, BC 117.21 117.21 +0.00 ((321.93 0.14 (((59.3))) 33 19 (((36)))

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iDash (2/21/2008)
The way I look at the two,

Brohm>Ryan

Petrino,

Bailing on Louisville cost BROHM #1< IMO

BTW-He lost a trophy , too!

After watching Redman in the offense I was pretty excited about what we could do when we drafted Brohm, but that's out of the question now unless he somehow slips to us in the 2nd.

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What seperates Rex Grossman from Eli Manning anyways? To me, the two are the same with notable exceptions like having Plaxico Burress, a better offensive coordinator and a better defense this year (and just like last year when the Bears defense was good). Both played in the superbowl with Great defenses ... coinsidence (A great defense wins championships)?

Every one of these "articles" are jokes. Seriously.

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I meant why can't we get him? I'm one of the few who'd be ok with taking him top 5, but there's always trading down or trading DHall.

Brohm is my favorite QB in the draft. He was the presumptive #1 QB coming into this season and he had a GREAT season, better than even his previous great seasons. In addition, he played the whole season injury free, which had been a question about him. As far as I can tell, he's dropped because Louisville's defense was horrible and because his name got stale after he's been talked about for so long.

I LOOOOVE picks like that. Guys who slide for no reason other than a lack of hype? Guys who put up great numbers and do everything asked of them but still slide? GREAT value!

Meanwhile you've got Matt "Interception Machine" Ryan getting built up by a whisper campaign from BC Alumnus Mike Mayock and 4 minutes of game film which can be interpreted, by those who don't pay attention to football, to show that Ryan is "Matty Ice" and can lead a big combeback because he has great "intangibles". I'm not sure how his "intangibles" will tranlate to the NFL unless he can convince other teams to play "prevent" defenses in the 4th quarter every week, but why should facts, stats, and actually watching him play interfere with the marketing campaign?

I think he'll probably have the most success at the NFL level depending on the team. But many teams, us included, will shun him on our first pick because of his system being different. Plus our value of our pick is too high to spend on a question mark QB when there are elite players like Dorsey and Ellis that will fill needs.

I'd take Brohm over probably any QB in the draft though and it would be awesome if Flacco or someone jumped him in the first so he could slip to us in the second.

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And what happened the second time BC played VT? They got stomped. Brohm is the best QB in this draft and if we take one that early it should be one that has proven every game that he deserves that spot, not some guy being hyped up because he played well against some backups playing prevent defense in the final 4 minutes of one game.

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Vicious (2/21/2008)
And what happened the second time BC played VT? They got stomped. Brohm is the best QB in this draft and if we take one that early it should be one that has proven every game that he deserves that spot, not some guy being hyped up because he played well against some backups playing prevent defense in the final 4 minutes of one game.
Bc isnt nearly the team vt is.Thats the ploint.Put ryan on vt and they maybe playing in new orleans....
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bigduke633 (2/21/2008)
Vicious (2/21/2008)
And what happened the second time BC played VT? They got stomped. Brohm is the best QB in this draft and if we take one that early it should be one that has proven every game that he deserves that spot, not some guy being hyped up because he played well against some backups playing prevent defense in the final 4 minutes of one game.
Bc isnt nearly the team vt is.Thats the ploint.Put ryan on vt and they maybe playing in new orleans....

I don't think he's a terrible QB, but he's by far not the best QB in this draft. It would be an awful choice to pick him in the top 5 when he's not even the best qb in the draft.

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grendel (2/21/2008)
bigduke633 (2/21/2008)
Vicious (2/21/2008)
And what happened the second time BC played VT? They got stomped. Brohm is the best QB in this draft and if we take one that early it should be one that has proven every game that he deserves that spot, not some guy being hyped up because he played well against some backups playing prevent defense in the final 4 minutes of one game.
Bc isnt nearly the team vt is.Thats the ploint.Put ryan on vt and they maybe playing in new orleans....

BC had the #14 defense in the nation. They had a RB who caught 76 passes out of the backfield and had a very respectable 4.6 yards per carry. They have some very good young receivers. Put a good QB on BC and maybe they're playing in New Orleans.

!4 isnt close to #1 which vt was and receptions would prove the qb is good aswell.They pass a lopsided amount so average per carry goes up like in a run and shoot.
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