From Joseph Santoliquito at the NFL draft in New York:
After all the speculation, all the clandestine whispers that would make a CIA agent envious, Matt Ryan wound up going right where many speculated he would go — to the Atlanta Falcons, with the third pick overall in today’s NFL Draft, at Radio City Music Hall.
Ryan, a Penn Charter and Boston College graduate, was the highest-rated quarterback entering the draft by many prognosticators. He was the first quarterback taken and probably made himself anywhere between $8 million to $10 million more by being selected third by the Falcons, rather than dropping to eighth, where the Baltimore Ravens were hoping to get him.
In fact, Baltimore had Ryan rated so highly that Ravens were reportedly trying to trade up with the St. Louis Rams for the second position. But the Rams’ asking price was too much. Reports indicated that the Rams were looking for Baltimore's first-, second- and fourth-round picks.
The 6-4, 221-pound Ryan led Boston College to a 25-7 career record, and was named ACC Player of the Year after his amazing senior season, throwing for 4,507 yards and 31 TDs, and averaging 11.54 yards per completion.
Atlanta was in terrible need for a quarterback, after losing Michael Vick and with Joey Harrington and Chris Redman.
"I can't worry about [the Vick situation]," Ryan said. "I have to concern myself with what I need to do to be successful. The draft process takes a long time, so it's nicer to get around to building a routine and getting ready to play. That's what has me excited. I can't wait to go down there."
What impressed NFL scouts and amped Ryan’s draft status was the fact that he didn’t have a real game-breaker at wide receiver at BC, that the Eagles’ offense rested mainly on his shoulders.
Ryan was chosen after Miami selected Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long and the Rams took Virginia defensive end Chris Long, the son of Villanova graduate and NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long.
Ryan had a chance to meet with Falcons owner Arthur Blank in Boston twice after the NFL combine in February.
"I spoke to Matt after both sessions with Mr. Blank, and it was kind of weird, but Matt came away feeling sorry for Mr. Blank, because Mr. Blank felt entirely personally responsible for what happened to the Falcons," said Mike Ryan, Matt's father. "Matt felt Atlanta understood him and he understood Atlanta better than anyone else that was talking to him. But when the Falcons spoke to him, they talked to him about everything under the sun other than playing football. Michael Vick and that whole situation wasn't brought up at all, as far as I know."
Ryan had about 100 supporters make the trip from the Philadelphia area to New York for the draft.
UPDATE: The Ravens are unable to pull off a trade to get to No. 2 and St. Louis keeps the pick to select Chris Long from Virginia.
Atlanta then grabs Matt Ryan at No. 3.
The Baltimore Ravens' interest in Penn Charter product Matt Ryan, the quarterback from Boston College, has been well-known for days.
We are an hour away and the buzz on the floor at the NFL Draft is that the Ravens are looking to trade with St. Louis to get to No. 2 to grab Ryan, reports the Daily News' Joe Santoliquito.
The Ravens currently have the No. 8 pick, but fear that Atlanta, at No. 3, wants Ryan. The NFL Network reported that if Ryan is selected at No. 2 then the Falcons would seek to move down in the first round.
Multiple reports indicate that the Rams have decided on Virginia defensive end Chris Long, if they opt not to trade the pick.