THE LIST

   The Case Against Matt Ryan

The case against the Falcons drafting Matt Ryan:

1. He's not that good

Matt Ryan's talent does not scream "franchise quarterback" - to anyone, but the Falcons that is. He has a good arm, not an elite arm. He is a decent athlete, not an exceptional athlete. His intangibles are off the chart, but so were Alex Smith's, Joey Harrington's and David Carr's. Numerous quarterbacks including Carr were much more highly rated than Ryan is coming out of college and busted out.

Matt Ryan is a good pro prospect who in comparison to his competition in a weak QB draft looked exceptional. No one, not even the Falcons, are positioning Ryan as a future John Elway or Dan Marino, but when you draft a QB at #3, that's what you should be getting.

2. A better player was available

Glenn Dorsey is a far better football player, a far better defensive tackle than Matt Ryan is a football player or quarterback. Glenn Dorsey dominated the SEC. Matt Ryan stood out in a down ACC, but still couldn't get Boston College a league title.

Glenn Dorsey is graded as one of the top defensive players to enter the NFL in a decade. Matt Ryan is thought of as about average when you take into account what is expected in a 1st round NFL Draft choice at QB.

Glenn Dorsey would come in, start and make an immediate impact on the Falcons defense. He would make the team's linebackers better by occupying blockers on the line of scrimmage and he'd demand double-teams freeing up the ends. Matt Ryan hopefully will start this season and with limited talent around him it's questionable how much of a difference he can make.

The Falcons had a great need for both a DT and a QB, but Dorsey is the much superior talent.

3. Taking a QB comes out of sequence for the Falcons in building their team

The Falcons have tremendous holes on both sides of the football. With a sub-par offensive line, no pass catching threat at tight end and weak receivers, Matt Ryan is being put in a position to fail. Ryan doesn't posses the other-worldly physical tools to make up for the lack of talent around him like Michael Vick did. David Carr, Joey Harrington and Vinnie Testaverde are just a few of the promising college QBs to be drafted onto rotten teams only to have their bodies wrecked and confidence shot by a lack of support around them. All we hear from NFL people is how champions are built along the lines of scrimmage, from inside out, the Falcons had a chance to do that, but instead chose to select a quarterback who will largely have to carry the team solo.

4. Selecting Glenn Dorsey would have united a fractured fan base

With all the Mike Vick rancor, a 4-win season and little hope for '08, the Falcons had a rare opportunity to select a glamorous player at an unglamorous position and unite a divided fan base behind fan favorite Dorsey. The selection of Matt Ryan was greeted by a hail of "boos" from Falcons fans where I was watching and aside from everything else Ryan faces coming into the NFL at its most demanding position on a bad team, he arrives in Atlanta with a lot of fans not wanting him here.

If the Falcons were looking for a new "face" of the franchise, someone who could sell tickets in a market where blackouts on Sunday figure to be the rule, not the exception for the next two seasons, Dorsey, and not Ryan was the best choice.