NFL Insiders Snub Matt Ryan on Quarterback Rankings

Matt Ryan

Getty Indianapolis Colts signal caller Matt Ryan did not make ESPN's list of top 10 quarterbacks.

It’s probably not surprising to see Indianapolis Colts quarterback Matt Ryan fail to make ESPN’s composite list of NFL top 10 quarterbacks entering 2022. There are a lot of great signal callers in the NFL today, and Ryan, who turned 37 in May, is towards the end of his career.

But Ryan wasn’t even an honorable mention on the best-of lists from NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. Ryan did not receive one vote as a top 10 quarterback from a league executive, coach, scout or player considered for Fowler’s list. Overall, 14 quarterbacks did receive a vote.

In conclusion, based on Fowler’s research, the league does not consider Ryan a top 10 or even top 14 quarterback entering the 2022 season.

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Matt Ryan Snubbed on ESPN’s Top 10 Quarterbacks List

July 11 was the seventh straight day that Fowler released a “best-of list.” Each list ranks the best players at a particular position based on numerous opinions from insiders (executives, coaches, scouts and players) around the league.

The Colts have been well represented on the lists. Darius Leonard and Quenton Nelson were both ranked the No. 1 best player at inside linebacker and guard, respectively. Furthermore, DeForest Buckner was rated the fourth overall defensive tackle.

But the quarterback list came and went on July 11 without a single mention of Ryan.

Fowler makes it clear before all his ranking lists that the ratings are not “five-year projections” or life-time “achievement awards” — he’s merely discovering who people inside the league consider the NFL’s best players heading into 2022.

If the list was based on career accolades by active quarterbacks, Ryan likely would have fared better. But on a list of the best signal callers today, Ryan did not receive a single vote as a top 10 quarterback while 14 other quarterbacks did.

The top 10 signal callers on Fowler’s list were Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Tom Brady, Joe Burrow, Matthew Stafford, Justin Herbert, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott. Lamar Jackson, Derek Carr and Kyler Murray were recognized as honorable mention while Kirk Cousins also received a top 10 vote.

Ryan a Top 10 AFC Quarterback?

With the trade from the Atlanta Falcons to the Colts, Ryan will play in the AFC for the first time in his career.

The AFC is loaded with young quarterback talent. Eight of the top 12 quarterbacks, including six of the top nine, on Fowler’s list were from the AFC. It’s possible that Ryan would not have made the list even if Fowler had asked league insiders to rank just AFC signal callers.

On June 7, NFL writer Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports ranked Ryan the No. 10 quarterback out of 16 in the AFC. Benjamin rated Ryan behind the eight AFC signal callers on Fowler’s list and Ryan Tannehill.

“At 37, coming off three straight years of so-so play for mediocre Falcons teams, he seems a bit more deflated physically than, say, Matthew Stafford, who got a similarly beneficial relocation from his original team in 2021,” Benjamin wrote.

Five of the six AFC quarterbacks behind Ryan on Benjamin’s list were signal callers who were drafted in either the 2021 or 2022 NFL Draft. The other was Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa.

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