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Atlanta Falcons Then and Now

Ronald Martinez

In the spirit of National Signing Day, it's always interesting to look back on the stars of today's NFL and see where they ranked coming out of high school. Daniel Cox over at the mothership decided to research how the current Atlanta Falcons were rated back when they were heading into college. It's hard to imagine a few of these players have come this far based on the scouting reports back years ago.

If you haven't read his article yet, go take a look. Here's what Daniel dug up on Matt Ryan.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan committed to Boston College in 2003 and that season he was the No. 25 prostyle QB in the country (according to Notable quarterbacks ranked ahead of him included Matt Flynn (No. 16), Brady Quinn (No. 10) and JaMarcus Russell (No. 6). Former University of Miami QB Kyle Wright was the top-ranked QB in the country that year. Now out of football, he spent the 2008 season on the Vikings and 49ers practice squads.

Matt Flynn took a backseat to rookie quarterback Russell Wilson this year. Brady Quinn still plays football, I think, or he might be doing more EAS Myoplex commercials. JaMarcus Russell is already in the process of making a comeback at the age of 27. Kyle Wright now "sells spinal implants" at a medical company, per Wikipedia (so if may or may not be true). Looks like it's safe to say Ryan came on out top of that group.

Thomas DeCoud wasn't even in the top 100 safeties, William Moore was a wide receiver. Times were strange. I wanted to investigate a few other player's Daniel didn't list, though.

Jacquizz Rodgers was rated the No. 26 running back in the nation. Listed as a three-star all-purpose back, Quizz dominated in high school, rushing for over 7,760 yards and 121 touchdowns in three years, per His size likely deterred the bigger schools. Nothing we haven't heard before.

Peria Jerry went from a two-star defensive tackle who wasn't even nationally ranked to a first-round pick. He didn't even play football his junior season of high school. Rivals rated Cliff Matthews at the No. 3 defensive end and No. 32 overall nationally. He eventually became a seventh-round selection.

Remember the No. 1 kicker from the 2006 recruiting class? Matt Bosher, y'all. It's hard to believe how far some of these guys have come. Just goes to show you, scout rankings don't exactly foreshadow NFL success.