Architect of the championship Dallas Cowboys teams for three decades, Gil Brandt, now a contributor to NFL.com, sees Ryan as one of the brightest under 30 quarterbacks in the NFL.
Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best QB playing right now, leads the list, but he will turn 30 in December. Brandt says Ryan, along with Baltimore's Joe Flacco, make up a duo at the top of the class of the young and elite quarterback.
At 27 and a year younger than Flacco, Ryan is second on Brandt's list and though Ryan will be watching Flacco in the Super Bowl on Sunday, the Falcons QB has the track record and stats to indicate he's still headed on an upward swing.
"When it comes to the numbers that indicate future success, Ryan's are simply better," wrote Brandt.
Ryan has more regular season wins in his five seasons with the Falcons than any other quarterback in the league and got his first playoff win this postseason. While Flacco has more playoff wins than Ryan, there's a sense that Flacco's benefitted from the team around him more than leading the team behind him. Ryan is the unquestioned leader of the Falcons and it's always been said they'll go as far as he takes him.
According to Brandt, Ryan will continue to take the Falcons places.