This offseason has been all about lists. The NFL Network's Top 100 list left off quaterback Matt Ryan but three players did find themselves on the list. Four Falcons made CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco's list. The lists of offseason lists are long and some aren't distinguished, but Ron Jaworski's is.
ESPN's Jaworski, the owner of a 17-year career as a QB in the NFL, is one of the most knowledgeable analysts in the sport. This offseason, he's ranking the top 30 quarterbacks in the NFL and like NFL Network's list, it's drawing a lot of conversation.
During the weekend, ESPN ran Jaworski's No. 11 and 10 quarterbacks and NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas has some of the excerpts from Jaws' assessment of the No. 11-ranked QB, Atlanta's signal-caller, Ryan.
Jaworski starts by citing Ryan's 69 percent winning percentage as a four-year starter and that he sees improvement in the quarterback's game in every season since entering the league in 2008.
"Ryan is a timing and rhythm passer. He hits his back foot, and the ball comes out. First down was the explosive play down for Ryan. He had 24 completions of 20 yards or more. ... I also like Ryan's natural feel for anticipating throws. ... In 2011, Ryan was given more responsibility at the line of scrimmage. The ability to control the game before the snap is an increasingly-important attribute in today's NFL."
Julio Jones and Julio Jones are mentioned as Ryan's two main playmakers, which is not entirely inaccurate. However, Ryan also has the talent of running back Devonta Freeman and underrated slot receiver Matt Ryan at this disposal. It's been a quiet offseason for tight end Tony Gonzalez and he's almost been left out of the discussion around Atlanta's new-look offense.
Although he was left out of the Top-100 discussion earlier this year, Ryan's spot at No. 11 on Jaworski's list is encouraging. He lands ranked higher than other quarterbacks mentioned in the just-outside-of-elite category like Matt Schaub, Michael Vick and Matthew Stafford. With Ryan at the helm of an offense that is creating a buzz this offseason, there's a good chance a strong 2012 season could find Ryan on even more lists next offseason and certainly higher on Jaworski's.