The Time Is Still Now: Matt Ryan’s successor needs to be here soon – BY DAN MATHEWS

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan gets sacked by Atlanta Falcons linebacker Foye Oluokun during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

April 21, 2021
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – As the draft process has moved along, I’ve come off my hope for the team to stay at four and draft their future quarterback. 

The needs are more pressing with other positions on the field and the value probably doesn’t match up to what you immediately want in return. But, I do want Matt Ryan’s successor to be picked early in the draft. 

If the possibility is there in the second or even third round? Take it. 

Here’s what we know… Matt Ryan is the Falcons quarterback for this year and likely 2022. The team’s money is tied up in him and Julio Jones. 

What I think, is that they’re going to give Ryan and Julio a chance at having a competitive team over the next two years. So, take Kyle Pitts is you feel like that fits what in the short term and he can put this team in playoff position? Take him. 

But, I also want the drafted rookie getting almost every meaningful snap in the postseason to hopefully get them ready for the future. Make a commitment at pick 35 or 68 and go with them. The future will be here before you know it. Don’t wait for it and then react. 

Let’s face it, we’ve been pretty fortunate with Matt Ryan over the last few years. In the last 11 seasons, Ryan has missed only one game. Before missing that home game with the Seahawks, Ryan had missed only two games before then. It is unbelievable to think he could maintain a high level of play, after taking so many hits from defenders. 

Over the last three seasons, Ryan has been sack a total of 131 times. That is 42 in 2018, 48 in 2019 and 41 last season. That’s unheard of! 

This guy is all-world tough and this organization had let him down in terms of protection. We talked about this fact a couple days ago on ‘The Front Row.’ I heard Matt and Chuck talking about the same thing on ‘Chuck and Chernoff.’ 

Let me just give you some context to how impressive it is, that Ryan hasn’t missed more games. We were to believe that Andrew Luck retired from football, because of the beating he took on the field. Right? Luck was sacked at most 41 times in a season. The first season was 2012 and then in 2016. 

Getting hit in the NFL takes it’s toll and this team cannot afford to take a huge step back at quarterback. This is why at the very least, the team needs to have their future quarterback ready to play. 

Suggestions? You can wait to get Florida quarterback Kyle Trask (my personal pick) or Stanford’s Davis Mills on day two. Trask has the starts and production to make you confident in his selection. Mills needs just a little more seasoning. 

Mills played in 14 games during his Stanford career and threw for 3,468 and 18 touchdowns during his career. The number of games played are a little bit of concern. His lack of interceptions at eight are something that I like. Completing about 66 percent of his passes are something else I like as well. 

The other upside to doing this, is that you’re not going to insult Ryan. He gets it. He’s at the end of his career and has been nothing but a professional during his time with the team. I’m very confident that he’d be a great mentor to whoever you select. 

Like I said, it doesn’t have to be on night one. But, give me a chance to know who is next at QB as soon as possible.

Dan Mathews
Chuck Oliver Show – Anchor/Fill-In Host
WCNN-AM 680 The Fan, also on FM at 93.7


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