TheDirtyWordII Posted April 16, 2008 Share Posted April 16, 2008 I have withheld judgment on the possibility and prospects for Matt Ryan to this point. As we draw closer to the draft, let me share my thoughts on the prospects of the Falcons drafting him:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> One year ago, JaMarcus Russell turned out to be the consensus #1 QB in the draft. One year later, his weight and work ethic are under significant scrutiny. While his physical talents are immense and can t be questioned, his desire seems to be. Is the criticism unfair? Yes. But that doesn t matter as a perceived savior of a franchise, the microscope that Russell and other #1 pick QB s are under is intense until they wind up proving themselves. Once they do, they become the franchise centerpiece and the scrutiny intensifies even more. The only thing that changes is the confidence in the player to handle the spotlight at the pro level. As such, if you are going to make a QB the centerpiece of your entire franchise, you have to be completely and utterly sold on the fact the player under consideration is THE one. When I see the process that the Falcons have undertaken with regard to their #3 pick, I can t help but think that they have not sold themselves on Matt Ryan as being this essential building block. When I think of Ryan, the QB that comes to mind of who he reminds me of is Carson Palmer. I m not speaking from a talent perspective, but more from a situation perspective. Going into his senior year, Palmer also was not viewed as a top overall pick but his senior season performance raised his profile and he wound up going #1 to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Cincinnati even though they had an adequate player at the position. Ryan falls into that same type of development. Is his talent along the lines of Palmer s. I don t think so. But his career arc is very similar. And if you remember, that was the off-season where Marvin Lewis took over as the head honcho of the Bengals with significant front office influence and decision making ability. Remember, this was the draft with Byron Leftwich, Terrence Newman, Jimmy Kennedy and Dewayne Robertson. It was clear at a very early point though that Palmer was the Bengals man. You could see it from the way they spoke about him and dealt with him. Does anyone get that impression with Ryan and the Falcons? I know they have the #3 pick, but as it relates to Ryan, does it matter? My perception of the Falcons draft evaluation process has been one that has increasingly centered around Glenn Dorsey. As far as Ryan is concerned, the Falcons are pretty much secure in their knowledge that if they want him they ve got him. But by in large, you haven t seen the Falcons romance Ryan all that much. He s simply been lumped in with all the other possibilities and options at the #3 slot. For me, if you are considering a QB at a slot that high, shouldn t he be put through a more stringent evaluation process? If you draft Dorsey at #3, he doesn t automatically turn into a THE franchise centerpiece. He certainly becomes a huge building block, but the identity of the Falcons is not intrinsically tied to him immediately. As for Ryan though he immediately slips into that role. Have the Falcons put him through the ringer? Maybe/maybe not...but they haven't even played him up that much and there are 3 legitmate teams in the the Top 8 that could potentially draft Ryan. Wouldn't they at least play that card? It also seems as if scouts are divided on Ryan just as much as the fan base is. While I don t think a front office should make decisions based on how they ll be perceived outside the organization, in some ways drafting Ryan is just that. Drafting a face of the franchise something I can t understand the concept of in the first place. At the end of the day though, I simply feel that the Falcons courtship of Matt Ryan has been lukewarm. It s one thing to not get the guy you want and if in fact Dorsey is not available, then that s just the way the cookie crumbled. But to draft the perceived consolation prize and then position him as the franchise QB you plan to build around& well, that seems a little off-key for what brief record we have of this regime. We didn t wine and dine Michael Turner to have him leave town. And in an off-season in which rebuilding the image of the Falcons has taken as prominent a role as rebuilding the Falcons, packaging Matt Ryan after such an indifferent recruitment process could not be considered a win. Does that mean I don t think Ryan could be a great QB? Noone knows. Alex Smith and David Carr went #1 overall so we know that even the best in the business in trying to forecast these things don t really know either. What we do know though is that neither franchise has had much luck since those missteps. If you are going to misstep, I d want to at least know the front office was fully committed to Ryan. I haven t seen any inclination this is the case. And that gives me serious reason for pause& Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.