Commentary

Draft games begin as QB Ryan works out for scouts

Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay breaks down the pro day workouts of Boston College QB Matt Ryan and several other draft prospects from around the country.

Originally Published: March 19, 2008
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
Nearly 150 NFL personnel officials, credentialed media and other observers packed into the Alumni Stadium bubble on Tuesday for Boston College's pro day workout session. In total, 17 NFL prospects from BC and nearly a dozen others from smaller programs in the area ran and/or participated in position drills during the two-and-a-half hour event. The scene was similar to numerous other on-campus workouts taking place across the country this month. The only difference, of course, was the unusually large audience on hand to witness the draft's top quarterback prospect, Matt Ryan, throw for NFL scouts for the first time during the pre-draft process.

[+] EnlargeMatt Ryan
Greg M. Cooper/US PresswireThe media was out in full force to see Matt Ryan show off his arm at Boston College's pro day.
Ryan stood on all of his workout numbers from the combine, which allowed him to focus solely on the passing portion on Tuesday. Eagles head coach Jeff Jagodzinski, who previously served as Brett Favre's offensive coordinator in Green Bay, used his pro experience to help Ryan and BC offensive coordinator Steve Logan design a throwing session suitable for NFL scouts. Logan directed Ryan through a 52-pass script, which included five mirrored routes (one to the left, followed by one to the right) off three-step drops, nine mirrored routes off five-step drops, four mirrored routes off seven-step drops and finally eight mirrored routes that Ryan threw while on the run (five play-action and three "escape" drills).

Ryan pressed a bit early on but settled into a groove as the session progressed. He wound up completing 50 of his 52 attempts, with one dropped pass by his tight end and one overthrown pass that took his receiver out of bounds. Although he lacks elite arm strength, Ryan at least verified to scouts on hand that he's capable of making all the necessary NFL throws with adequate-to-good velocity. Plus, anyone who studies Ryan on film knows that his uncanny timing as a passer -- or as one general manager phrased it, "Ryan's anticipatory accuracy" -- allows him to fit the ball into tight spots that other quarterbacks with stronger arms but slower recognition skills cannot find.