As Ron Jaworski of ESPN continues his ranking of the top-30 quarterbacks in the NFL, he slotted Atlanta’s Matt Ryan 11th among signal callers after back-to-back playoff appearances. Ryan is 27 years old. His career touchdown-to-interception ratio is 95:46, and Ryan’s yearly passer ratings have risen steadily.
“You know what I really appreciate about Ryan; he has improved in each of his four years as the Falcons’ starter,” Jaworski said on SportsCenter Saturday. “… He’s won 69 percent of his NFL starts. That’s pretty good.”
Jaworski likes Ryan’s talent level, and particularly his commanding presence and decision making before the snap of the ball.
“Ryan is a timing and rhythm passer,” Jaws observed. “He hits his back foot, and the ball comes out. First down was the explosive-play down for Ryan [in 2011]. He had 24 completions of 20 yards or more. … I also like Ryan’s natural feel for anticipating throws. …
“In 2011, Ryan was given more responsibility at the line of scrimmage. The ability to control the game before the snap is an increasingly important attribute in today’s NFL.”
Jaws still sees one part of Ryan’s game that must improve, in order for the fifth-year signal caller to take another step forward.
“Ryan is right on the edge being a top-ten NFL quarterback,” Jaworski opined. “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 ‘muddied pocket.’ With bodies flying around him. Right now, he needs that comfortable cradle, functional space. If he improves in that area, he’ll crack my top ten.”