Number 3: Matt Ryan
Admit it, you were that guy who had his doubts in 2008. That guy as in you wanted the Falcons to select LSU star defensive tackle Glen Dorsey or Arkansas stud running back Darren McFadden. This franchise’s turnaround was mostly because of what Matt Ryan has brought to Atlanta. As a Falcons fan, you have to truly appreciate Matt Ryan. I mean his first NFL pass ever was a 62-yard strike to Michael Jenkins for a touchdown.
Currently one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, Ryan is a player the Falcons can rely on in key situations. In his seven-years as the starting quarterback for Atlanta, he has 20 fourth quarter comebacks. He earned the nickname “Matty Ice” because of the cool ice in his veins. An NFL quarterback, or any quarterback for that matter, is the leader of their football team. The savvy veteran has played exceptional every year, and is still progressing each and every season.
In 2014, Ryan was rated the fifth best quarterback by ProFootballFocus.com. He was eighth overall in completion percentage at 66.2%, while throwing 28 touchdowns. His interceptions were a problem, as he threw 14, but he was hit eight times as he threw, which was the fifth most out of all quarterbacks. Ryan seems to make his receivers better, as Harry Dougles and Devin Hester had very solid years.
Matt Ryan and the word “elite” have been thrown around by many people. The argument is that people believe Ryan would be considered elite if he leads his team to a Super Bowl. I can see where those people can make that argument, but football is a team game. Ryan seems to have lacked legitimate defenses in his years, and that is a big reason why Atlanta hired Dan Quinn this offseason. If you ask my opinion, I think Ryan would have led Atlanta to a Super Bowl by now if he had a legitimate defense for at least two years.
Matt Ryan is number three on this list, but he could easily be number one. I think Ryan has a career year in 2015, as the front office has surrounded him with talented players. The offensive line will be the key to Ryan’s success, as the past two years they have not helped Ryan much. The Atlanta starting quarterback has only missed two games in his career, so expect him to be on the field for most, if not all, of the games in the upcoming year. I have always been a huge Matt Ryan supporter, as he is incredible on and off the field. Whenever Ryan decides to hang up the cleats, don’t be surprised if he ended up leading Atlanta to their first ever Super Bowl win.
Number 5 (Shelby Miller) – http://www.sportstalkatl.com/top-five-current-atlanta-pro-athletes-number-5/
Number 4 (Al Horford) – http://www.sportstalkatl.com/top-five-current-atlanta-pro-athletes-number-4/