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College Eye For The NFL Guy: Matt Ryan

Apr 21, 2008 – 2:00 PM
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Brian Cook

Brian Cook %BloggerTitle%

Now with an even more outdated cultural reference in the title! Remember metrosexuals? Far out!

Ryan is the premiere quarterback of the class of 2008. He is a first round prospect with all the intangibles and is described accurately as a "winner." When compared to other draft classes, Ryan doesn't have the status of a Peyton or Eli Manning, Philip Rivers or Ben Roethlisberger to some clubs, but he is a guy you can build a club around. It will be hard for Atlanta, Kansas City and Baltimore to all pass him in the top 10 spots.

At the top of the first round.


Ah, Matt Ryan. White. Pretty tall. Strapping, even. Possessor of the most annoying nickname ("Matty Ice") this side of Chris Berman. Potential top pick in the draft according to people who must have never watched college football ever.

There's an uncanny consensus amongst college football fans on Ryan: Jesus, that kid is overrated. Rarely does an entire nation of college football fans agree on anything other than "Paul Maguire must be fired immediately," but ask any non-BC fan from sea to shining sea and you will get one response: don't draft that guy. Why after the jump.
With apologies Bill Maloney, the Fanhouse's BC rep, this is why:
  • Yes, Boston College had the nation's fourth-ranked passing offense, but Ryan was 62nd in passer efficiency. He completed 59% of his passes -- okay, not great -- and flung 19 interceptions to go with his 31 touchdowns.
  • Yes, "Matty Ice" led quite a comeback in BC's critical matchup against Virginia Tech, but BC was in that hole largely because he spent the first 55 minutes of the game throwing passes anywhere but the approximate vicinity of BC receivers. He ended up completing fewer than half of his 52 attempts, had two interceptions to go with his two touchdowns, and had a passer rating of under 100. In the rematch he again threw 52 passes; this time he managed to complete more than half but had two interceptions and no touchdowns in a 30-16 loss.
  • All of Ryan's stats, dubious as they are, came in the weakest BCS conference, the ACC. BC's nonconference schedule was Army, UMass, Bowling Green, and Notre Dame. In the bowl game, a 10-3 team that had gone to the ACC championship game played 7-5 Michigan State, which had gone 3-5 in conference.
  • "Matty Ice." I mean... come on.
Most importantly, Ryan just didn't play that well when you watched. He wasn't sacked that much, he didn't play against many good defenses, and at no point did he resemble a future NFL All Pro. He just seemed like a pretty good college quarterback, more John Navarre than Tom Brady.

Kirwan calls him a "winner," complete with quote marks, above, and that's often code for "team wins despite the fact he's not that good." See: Dorsey, Krenzel, etc. Anyone who takes Ryan in the top ten picks is asking for it.
Filed under: Sports