Atlanta Falcons: Jaws ranks Ryan 11th, ahead of Vick, Schaub

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH:  Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completes a pass during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

061912 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completes a pass during the first day of mini-camp in Flowery Branch on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

BIRDLAND — Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan fared much better in the “Jaws QB Countdown” series than in the Top 100 players ranking.

ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski has examined each of the league’s veteran starting quarterbacks and Tim Tebow.

The daily series has been running on SportsCenter, NFL Live and NFL32 and will culminate with Jaworski’s top-ranked quarterback Tuesday, July 10.

Ryan and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo were unveiled as the 11th- and 10th-ranked NFL veteran starters respectively. Ryan is ranked directly in front of former Falcons quarterbacks Michael Vick (12th) and Matt Schaub (13th). He is three spots ahead of former Georgia quarterback and present Detroit Lion Matthew Stafford (14th).

Ryan wasn’t ranked in the NFL Network’s Top 100 ranking. There were 13 other quarterbacks who made that ranking, which was voted on by players around the league.

Ryan has guided the Falcons to the playoffs three times in four seasons in the league and has posted a 43-19 regular-season record. He is 0-3 in the playoffs.

“Number 11 on my quarterback big board is Matt Ryan,” Jaworski said. “You know what I really appreciate about Ryan? He has improved in each of his four years as the Falcons starter. How about this, folks? He’s won 69 percent of his NFL starts. That’s pretty good!”

He went on to describe Ryan’s playing style.

“Ryan is a timing and rhythm passer,”Jaworski said. “He hits his back foot, and the ball comes out. First down was the explosive play down for Ryan. He had 24 completions of 20 yards or more. …I also like Ryan’s natural feel for anticipating throws.”

Last season, the Falcons were 10-6 and went to playoffs as one of the NFC’s wild-card teams. They were defeated in the playoffs by the New York Giants, who went on to win the Super Bowl.

“In 2011, Ryan was given more responsibility at the line of scrimmage,” Jaworski said. “The ability to control the game before the snap is an increasingly-important attribute in today’s NFL.”

The Falcons are hoping that Ryan continues to improve and joins some of the elite quarterbacks around the league.

“Ryan is right on the edge of being a top-10 NFL quarterback,” Jaworski said. “I love the way he’s engaged in every single game. But there’s still one element of Ryan’s game that needs work. He must become more consistent in what I call a ‘muddy pocket’, with bodies flying around him. Right now, he needs that comfortable cradle, that functional space. If he improves in that area, he’ll crack my top 10.”

Jaws’ QB Countdown Series Rankings:

No. 30 –Tim Tebow, New York Jets

No. 29 — Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars

No. 28 — Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings

No. 27 — Matt Flynn, Seattle Seahawks

No. 26– Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins

No. 25– Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals

No. 24 — Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills

No. 23 — Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

No. 22 — Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs

No. 21 — Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders

No. 20 — Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

No. 19 — Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

No. 18 — Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans

No. 17 — Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

No. 16 — Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers

No. 15 — Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

No. 14 — Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

No. 13 — Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

No. 12 — Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

No. 11 — Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

No. 10 — Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

No. 9 — To be unveiled Monday, July 2

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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91 comments Add your comment


July 2nd, 2012
12:59 pm


July 2nd, 2012
1:00 pm

Jaws has Flacco ahead of Matt Ryan, I don’t see how


July 2nd, 2012
1:08 pm

Is there possibly a link to video you could include D. Led?

Cleveland Ave. Turk

July 2nd, 2012
1:14 pm

Almost first. Wat up sireal?? Matt ryan iz taking dis team to the nfc championship this year

Cleveland Ave. Turk

July 2nd, 2012
1:16 pm

Matty Ice will quell all the naysayers this year. Guaranteed.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 2nd, 2012
1:18 pm

Greg — I will try to get the video link.

Cleveland Ave. Turk

July 2nd, 2012
1:19 pm

I can’t wait to get home and watch nfl live. I get to hear them praise my quarterback….win we hoist dat lombardi. We ain’t got no room for fake fans. Only the true lifelong falcon fans will be able to gloat. WE DAT!!!!!


July 2nd, 2012
1:22 pm

I look forward to it. Thanks!

Cleveland Ave. Turk

July 2nd, 2012
1:24 pm

D.LED!!……..! keep da info coming. I need all the falcons news u got. Hell u can even make up somthing. I just need you to hold me over till the september.

Cleveland Ave. Turk

July 2nd, 2012
1:27 pm

WE DAT!!!!! I’m going in on da blogs today….get ready saints. This year WE are the team to beat. It our time now!!!!………Shot out to ryan cameron. A true falcons comrade.


July 2nd, 2012
1:28 pm

i see few players that should be higher. matt ryan is an ok player but a little overrated. kind of like Joe Johnson. Joe is a little bettet


July 2nd, 2012
1:30 pm

It has to be off the playoffs… Thats the only way i can 1% understand…. He cant be going by what happen during the season


July 2nd, 2012
1:34 pm

He’s overrated at #11, should be #18.


July 2nd, 2012
1:36 pm

Are you kidding me Ryan over Stafford he can’t even throw long ball,Jaws has lost it!


July 2nd, 2012
1:42 pm

I could almost agree with most of it but Flacco is not Top 10. And -being a GT fan I hate to admit it but- Stafford should be higher too.

It's all subjective

July 2nd, 2012
1:54 pm

but, maybe:

9 – Jay cutler

8 – Joe Flacco

7 – Phillip Rivers

6 – Ben Roethlisberger

5 – Eli Manning

4 – Peyton Manning

3 – Tom Brady

2 – Drew Brees

1 – Aaron Rogers

Really hard to rate these top guys, since the team around them is more important to their success than their individual talent

It's all subjective

July 2nd, 2012
1:56 pm

This was a guess based on how Jaws had rated the others. Not saying I agree with his picks.

Left Coast Dawg

July 2nd, 2012
2:22 pm

@ It’s all subjective – you forgot about Brett Favre


July 2nd, 2012
2:28 pm

Jaws nailed it. The muddy pocket weakness is Matt Ryan’s weakest trait. He hasn’t been good in a muddy pocket.


July 2nd, 2012
2:30 pm

It could be lower body strength as much as upper that would help MR2 the most. He’s got to be able to deliver the ball, when his Right Guard gets washed into him.


July 2nd, 2012
2:31 pm

He’s obviously given a premium in his ratings for playoff success. Romo has had little, Ryan none.

Flacco, a little.

Big Chuck

July 2nd, 2012
3:05 pm

None of this matters. Matty Slush always folds when the lights are the brightest.


July 2nd, 2012
3:10 pm

Tim Tebow should be ranked number 20. HE HAS WON A PLAYOFF GAME!!!!!!!!!


July 2nd, 2012
3:23 pm

Teams win playoff games, not QBs. Unless one of you idiots would rather have Sanchez over Philip Rivers.

Falcon James

July 2nd, 2012
3:31 pm

This looks to be right where Ryan should be. Ryan is certainly capable of being ranked higher. The part about Ryan being comfortable in the pocket is accurate. Time will tell.

Just Sayin.....

July 2nd, 2012
3:45 pm

Joe Flacco + 5 Playoff wins = 9th ranking…..pretty simple.

Just Sayin.....

July 2nd, 2012
3:48 pm

The easiest way to determine if your qb is overrated is to ask yourself who is the league’s leader in salary without winnig a playoff game. 72 million is pretty high to never have won a playoff game.

Vote justice Roberts out of the supreme court in Noveber

July 2nd, 2012
3:54 pm

Email Profiling Is Wrong

July 2nd, 2012
4:34 pm

Here’s a question: I wonder if Carolina, the Rams, Detroit and even Houston or Tampa Bay would trade their starting QB’s straight up, one-for-one, for Matt Ryan today?

Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, Matt Schaub and Josh Freeman are all rated behind Matt Ryan – according to Ron Jaworski. Is Matty Ice better than any of them?

Chub Rock

July 2nd, 2012
4:47 pm

Elite QB’s win in December and January. Most NFL QB’s progress to elite status. Ryan is progressing every year. The fact that he realizes he needs to work on his strength and overall body armor speaks volumes. When Ryan really hits his stride some of the elite QB’s that are in the top 5 now will be on the decline but still eating up huge amounts of cap space. Matt Ryan is just turned 27 years old, he’s not 33 or 34 looking for his last big payday. Some of the old QB’s in the top 100 today would not have been in the top 100 four years into their careers either.

Chub Rock

July 2nd, 2012
4:49 pm

Someone always has to apply some idiotic logic to the discussion. LOL

Email Profiling Is Wrong

July 2nd, 2012
5:44 pm

The fact that Matt Ryan realizes (after four years) that he’s neither stout enough of body or strong enough of arm is hardly a point in his favor.

That fact that he’s trying to do something about it is encouraging – although it begs the question “What took you so long to get religion, Matt?”

“Progressing to elite status”? You need to get with the franchise spin there Chub Rock. According to Dimitroff, Matt’s already an elite QB.

Matt’s blessed (has been blessed) with as good a set of skill position players as any QB in the league. His O line was suspect in 2011, but not as bad as some folks (i.e. Ryan defenders) want to make out.

At some point Matt needs to make the leap to franchise QB. I’m hopeful this is the year. If not, I have no doubt Ryan apologists will have their “It’s not Matt’s fault” talking points ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.

An elite QB makes his team better. An elite QB isn’t carried by his team – he carries his team. Matt Ryan’s nowhere near elite right now.

The Real Falcon

July 2nd, 2012
5:45 pm

He’e not that good.


July 2nd, 2012
5:48 pm

Jaws gave MR a good spot, but it is not like Jaws has the final say on any QB ranking. He is just another loud mouth analyst trying to make a name for himself. This means nothing.


July 2nd, 2012
5:50 pm

Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life. They should owe their allegiance to the constitution and should uphold all the laws of the country. I like it, I am much better off now than I was four years ago. Just like Ronnie said.


July 2nd, 2012
5:55 pm

If Matt Ryan slowly progressed to the level he is at no one would say he is overrated. Instead he came in like gangbusters, lit it up, and has been coasting it seems since. I’m not sure if he’s overrated anyway. I hear a lot of people saying positive and negative things about him, which seems appropriate because his play has been night day from regular season to playoffs

Paddy O

July 2nd, 2012
6:33 pm

Its all subjective has a good list. However, in my evaluation of NFL QB’s, I’d rate Ryan higher than the following: Cutler, Flacco & Rivers. Up until last year’s 2nd SB win, I’da rated Ryan higher than Eli – who is pretty average in the regular season – but, when presented with an opportunity, really shines. At this point, I blame MM & SMITTY BALL’s predictable play calling for costing Ryan & the Falcons post season wins.

Paddy O

July 2nd, 2012
6:35 pm

stupid – if you are much better off now than 4 years ago, you must NOT own property or any investment (even gold has flatlined), probably work for the gov’t, and may have been in jail recently.

Paddy O

July 2nd, 2012
6:36 pm

I see a lot of scumbag Falcon fans posting here. Probably the same jack offs who posted on the Braves site to ditch Jeff Francoeur.


July 2nd, 2012
7:04 pm

Whats goin’ on Cleveland Ave Turk? Man, I could honestly say I agree with this list right here. There are 10 better QBs….so he’s RIGHT outside whats considered the top echelon. He knows this and it should push him to break into that top 5 this year. No excuses.
I think we could get to the NFC title game at LEAST if these things happen:
1) Sam Baker or SOMEONE out there anchors the LT spot. I’m EXTREMELY nervous about that. If the line can hold for FOUR seconds (which is all you really need for a decent pocket) It all depends on the O-line. If they hold up, we should be good.
2) Our D makes a huge jump. (As expected). I think Nolan can have us in the top 10-15 this year. I think we can finally throw that bend dont break garbage As long as we can get off the field on THIRD DOWN…we should be good.
3) Our offense actually doesnt stall in the red zone. As long Koetter can get us down there and actually score more TDs than field goals, we should be good!
5) 11+ wins in our conference bc it’ll be a LOT tougher this year.
I think we’re primed to do a lot better. All we need to do is win the first one. They have to focus on winning a playoff game. Once we do, they should be gased up enough for a major run!!! :)

Chub Rock

July 2nd, 2012
7:35 pm

No I don’t need to get with any spin at all. I am capable of developing my own opinions. I expect a GM of a football team to have several differing viewpoints than those of general fan.

Elite QB’s are still a part of a team sport. Drew Brees had the best season a QB has enjoyed in quite some time (if ever) however the QB(Eli) that did not make the Top 100 last season walked away with the ring by beating another QB(Brady) that is a first ballot Football is a team sport and NO elite QB single-handedly guarantees a Super Bowl victory. Regardless of whether we approve of the job Matt Ryan is doing or not, he has progressed every year and if he can get a little bigger and stronger that might just be the final building block of an elite QB. It’s professional football and the other teams players get paid too so there is by is very nature a high level of competition. I would like to think the sport of football is enjoyed by men and women and not a bunch of pouting kids. Some fans whine and moan so much about the players it makes me wonder why you even enjoy the sport. I have more respect for the trolls that come in here and praise their Saints and bash our Falcons than I do the weak so-called Falcons fan that nit picks the progress albeit incremental of your own QB.


July 2nd, 2012
8:22 pm

What a joke?

Did he not see the whole 2 pts ATL scored in the playoffs???


July 2nd, 2012
9:57 pm

So a quarterback is only as good as the last game he played? Then I guess Eli Manning is the only elite quarterback in the nation…

Maybe he saw you know, all the other games Ryan played? Winning 7 out of every 10 games is pretty impressive in the NFL.

True Falcon Fan

July 2nd, 2012
10:28 pm

Well heck if he hadn’t been coached by such a terrible coaching staff #21 Carson Palmer would have been #1 – what say you “ZERO” – The only Carson Palmer fan i know east of the Rockies???

Com-ON with it ZERO

The Falcon Project

July 2nd, 2012
10:31 pm


July 3rd, 2012
1:07 am


Falcons > Everyone

July 3rd, 2012
2:34 am

One day it’s his arm strength that is the problem. He had over 20 explosive plays last season, and reportedly he’s bigger and stronger than last year after gaining 7-10 lbs. of muscle in the offseason. Next day it’s “he hasn’t won a playoff game.” Funny, because I don’t recall all the other Falcons doing their job well in those three playoff losses, either. Then it’s “he can’t win ANY big game.” Ummm…when you are trailing by a score late in the fourth quarter, battling for playoff position, it’s just become a big game. When 16 of your 43 career victories happen in fourth quarter-and-overtime-comeback fashion, I would call that a clutch gene. Of course Matt Ryan’s not as good as guys who have been in the league longer than him (Manning brothers, Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Roethlisberger) but he’s on his way to becoming an upper-echelon signal-caller. His numbers are getting better every season. Once he does become better in the “muddy pocket”, then the wins will keep rolling in and the playoff monkey will fall off of his back.

Chuck Clausen

July 3rd, 2012
6:58 am

I spent 9 seasons with Jaws in Philly, he had one of the greatest passing coaches of All Time as his QB coach Sid Gillman – Sid and Ron had a meeting room near my office while Sid was coaching Ron he was actually coaching me a rookie or near Rookie NFL coach. Ron had a great arm, Sid turned Ron into a QB who could lead us to a Super Bowl after the 1980 season.

Ryan is better than Jaws ever was

July 3rd, 2012
7:43 am

who could lead us to a Super Bowl after the 1980 season
…. and get stomped by the Oakland Raiders
……… and Jim Plunkett.

Ryan is better than Jaws ever was

July 3rd, 2012
7:50 am

The Atlanta Falcons beat Jaws and the Eagles in 1980 also
with Steve Bartkowski.