Who is number two?
I think we all agree Boston College’s Matt Ryan is top quarterback prospect in this year’s class. At 6-4, 221-pounds, Ryan possesses ideal size, can make every throw – from the deep out to the touch pass underneath, and his accuracy throwing on the run improved tremendously from last season.
His decision-making cannot be emphasized enough. Ryan reads through his progressions, finds the open receiver, and spreads the ball around – four BC receivers have at least 40 receptions this season.
And his ability to get rid of the football you ask? Despite playing behind a true freshman right tackle and facing constant pressure from that side, Ryan, by far, leads the ACC in sack percentage – 31 pass attempts for every sack. Next closest, Georgia Tech’s Taylor Bennett – 18 pass attempts for every sack.
Does Ryan possess that ever elusive, but oh so important “it-factor?” It certainly seems so given his dramatic, come from behind victories at Blacksburg and Death Valley. And how about the throws on the run, across his body, to win each game. That’s called making a play.
The second-ranked quarterback in this class is below the national spotlight, but throw on the tape, and it’s clear he’s at least a notch if not two above general consensus favorites Brian Brohm and Andre Woodson. I’m talking about Michigan’s Chad Henne.
What’s not to love? Size. Arm strength – can laser the ball between three defenders. Ability to make every throw – can just as equally drop it in a bucket. Four years starting experience operating a pro-style offense. Reads defenses extremely well and calls his own audibles. Tough as nails – played down the stretch this season with a separated throwing shoulder.
Don’t buy into hype
Brohm and Woodson have been largely heralded as the second or third ranked quarterbacks in this class, but again, all it takes is a look at the tape to prove otherwise.
Brohm – Pop gun arm incapable of drilling NFL throws into tight NFL windows – I can envision him now getting picked off left and right trying to hit the deep out on the next level. Cannot throw on the run. Marginal athleticism - struggles to evade the rush. Pushes the ball and accuracy consequently suffers.
Woodson – As flawed a player and deceptive a stat line as any in recent memory. Sixty-three percent completion percentage largely the result of very simple reads and short, shorter , and shortest passes. King of the checkdown. Struggles with accuracy on easy throws. Aims the ball. Very erratic. Does not play with confidence. Long, exaggerated delivery. Coaching staff did a nice job masking his flaws by calling a concervative game plan (see Louisville game).