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Falcons 2016 roster review: Quarterback

How do the Falcons stack up at the most critical of positions?

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

In a league driven by the passing game, it is becoming more and more important for teams to find a QB. Teams without a good QB will make desperation moves in the draft to get one, or spend big in free agency to land one. The Falcons, fortunately, already have a good one on their roster. But how good is the position group as a whole? And how does each individual player grade out? And heck, just who plays quarterback for the Falcons?

Matt Ryan

The starter for the Falcons since 2008, Ryan is entering his 9th year in the league. Though Matt had an up-and-down 2015 season, it's hard to ignore the fact that he's been consistently good - sometimes great - throughout his career. Since 2008, he's one of the top QBs in fourth quarter comebacks, and is generally considered one of the more accurate passers in the league. While he doesn't have a big arm, it's adequate and when given time in the pocket, he can slice and dice even the best defenses. Without a doubt, his mind is still his greatest asset.

So, about that 2015 season? Ryan had an uncharacteristic number of turnovers in the red zone and several throws throughout the year that truly warranted "what in the world" reactions. While he added to his "comeback" total, he was also responsible for some of the losses the team suffered. The bright side is that Ryan appeared to get more comfortable with the new offense as the season progressed and the addition of Alex Mack should give Ryan more confidence in his offensive line. With a full off-season to digest the playbook, there's no reason to think Ryan will struggle the same way again in 2016.

If the offense can stay healthy and players like Justin Hardy step up, we should see the Matt Ryan we're all used to in 2016.

Grade: B

Matt Schaub

The one-time Falcon returns to the team that originally drafted him. Schaub had a good run with the Houston Texans before the wheels came off in dramatic fashion. Schaub became known more for throwing pick-sixes than anything else, and he was quickly relegated to being a veteran backup.

The advantage of having Schaub on the roster is his familiarity with Kyle Shanahan's offensive system. He'll be able to give Ryan advice from the bench and with plenty of starting experience, he's not the worst backup the team has ever had. However, if we end up needing him to start, things could get bad very quickly.

Grade: C

Sean Renfree

Renfree has been able to hold onto a roster spot since coming into the league in 2013 as a seventh round pick of the Falcons. Every year it seems like this guy is going to get cut, but he still hangs on. He has shown himself to be competent during the past several preseasons, but his ability to step in as a starter is questionable.

Grade: C

Matt Simms

I'll be honest: I forgot he was even on the roster. Meh.

Grade: Incomplete


With Matt Ryan being incredibly durable, this is a position the Falcons don't have to worry about. There are plenty of reasons to believe Ryan will bounce back in 2016 and the addition of Schaub gives the team a backup with lots of starter reps. Where position groups are concerned, this is one with few concerns for the Falcons.

Grade: B