The Falcons didn’t make any real changes at quarterback, and rightfully so. They have the reigning NFL MVP, a veteran quarterback who is quite familiar with the offense, and a somewhat intriguing undrafted free agent to serve as the team’s third string quarterback for the present. Assuming good health from Ryan, this will be one of the best quarterback situations in the league yet again. Thankfully.
Current Depth Chart
Starter: Matt Ryan
Backup: Matt Schaub
Third-Stringer: Alek Torgersen
Torgersen has a shot at a practice squad spot, but he’s not going to make the roster and he may or may not be able to hang on at all. He’s a smart prospect with a good arm and NFL size, and given that Matt Schaub is the backup right now, he might be able to marinate and get a shot down the line. I’m naturally skeptical of UDFA quarterbacks coming in and seizing the day, but Torgersen has enough upside to pay attention to.
Ah, Schaub. He hasn’t been a good quarterback in a bit now, but he does know the offense and has the veteran leadership qualities you look for and so forth. If he gets on the field, even the Falcons’ high-powered passing attack is going to take a dip. Let’s hope he just gets to look pretty on the bench.
Ryan went into last season with his reputation damaged and plenty of questions about whether he was ever going to be more than a very good quarterback, but with Kyle Shanahan’s offense in full swing, plenty of weapons, and Ryan’s skill honed to a fine point, he ended up as the league MVP and enjoyed his best season ever. It’s fair to say he won’t be in danger of being underestimated again. His arm, decision-making, durability and all-around game make him the best quarterback the Falcons have had, and we should enjoy that as long as we can.
Thankfully, Ryan has been remarkably durable to this point, and he’s surrounded by the best weapons money (and draft picks) can buy. I’m not expecting more than a minor regression to the mean for him, which means he should be one of the best passers in football again, presiding over one of the league’s most dangerous attacks.
Quarterback is a strength for Atlanta, then, and when you’ve got it good at quarterback, you’ve got it good. Period.