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Early Bird Report 1/30: Matt Ryan high in PFF's final QB ranking; building All-Pro teams

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today's Early Bird Report includes Matt Ryan's place near the top of PFF's final QB rankings as well as a unique look at the NFL's All-Pro teams.



Pro Football Focus: Final NFL QB rankings

According to the analysts at Pro Football Focus, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan fared pretty well after his MVP season in 2016. He was rated as the No. 2 quarterback in the NFL for 2017, earning a grade of 89.8 from PFF, and a spot behind only New England's Tom Brady.

While Ryan was credited with 12 interceptions, less than one percent of his throws were deemed "turnover-worthy" by PFF – a stat that Falcons fans should be familiar with. That percentage was the best in the NFL, helping Ryan earn the strong grade he did.

"Ryan's 89.8 overall grade is just 2.8 points down from last year's mark and actually higher than the three previous seasons before that," PFF said in its QB Annual. "After a slow first month of the season, Ryan definitely found his groove in 2017 and went through the rest of the year on something of a tear, with the only hiccup coming against the Saints the first time the two teams played."

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BIGGEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFL 2017 All-Pro teams, eye test vs. Next Gen Stats

Chris Wesseling and Matt Harmon of came up with an interesting concept: How would an All-Pro differ when created using the eye test versus relying on Next Gen Stats to evaluate players? That's exactly what they sought to find out for both the league's offensive and defensive players, with Wesseling providing the eye-test knowledge and Harmon utilizing the stats.

The selections don't change too dramatically, but the Next Gen Stats did favor a pair of Falcons defenders. Linebacker Deion Jones was selected as an All-Pro at his position by Harmon, who had this to say:

"In just two seasons, Jones has already established himself as one of the premier coverage linebackers in the game. Atlanta gave up an 82.8 passer rating on throws when a linebacker was the nearest defender, the lowest in 2017 (NFL average: 99.2). Jones is also one of the NFL's best tacklers, bringing down running backs on 83.8 percent of the instances when he closed within 1 yard of them to lead all 'backers."

Joining him on the defensive side of the ball is safety Keanu Neal, who also joined Jones as first-time Pro Bowlers this season. Neal was selected by Harmon alongside Minnesota's Harrison Smith as the NFL's two All-Pro safeties.

Unfortunately, no Falcons made the cut for the All-Pro offense. If you would like to check out the selections for that side of the ball, however, click here.

Here are some more articles from around the league:


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