Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco?
Who is better?
It’s a question that has been asked over and over since the pair of first round quarterbacks were selected in the 2008 NFL Draft.
Their numbers have been compared and debated along with their respective supporting casts.
Ryan supporters will say that Flacco has had the luxury of playing with a better defense which could help mask some of the signal caller’s flaws. Flacco supporters will say that Ryan plays at least 9 of his games each season in domes and at least 2 others in very temperate climates and therefore his numbers should be better.
Ryan backers will argue that he was forced to carry the Falcons, clean up the mess left behind by Michael Vick and that his maturation is more evident than Flacco’s. Those in Flacco’s camp will point to the number of playoff wins that the strong-armed former Delaware Blue Hen has under his belt and then remind us all of the former Boston College Eagle’s post season struggles.
The debate has no clear winner.
The debate also found its way into the Ravens war room on draft day 2008.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti wanted a franchise quarterback. He believed that in order to keep the window of opportunity open from year to year that the Ravens needed proficiency and consistency at the game’s most important position.
And Matt Ryan was his guy.
But the Ravens scouts and coaching staff were well aware of Flacco’s gun-slinging capabilities. And while they all liked Ryan, the consensus was that the differences between the two weren’t worth the enormous cost to move into position (from the 8th pick to the 3rd pick) to make Matt Ryan a Raven.
To move up five spots the Ravens would have had to sacrifice their first, second, third and fourth round picks according to the NFL Trade Value Chart. Instead the Ravens did their wheeling and dealing with the Jaguars, Texans and Seahawks to eventually get in position to select Joe Flacco and Ray Rice.
The balance of the draft didn’t produce much for the Ravens. Tavares Gooden, Tom Zbikowski, Oniel Cousins, Marcus Smith, David Hale, Haruki Nakamura, Justin Harper and Allen Patrick made marginal contributions at best and none is currently a member of the team.
But at the end of the day, the Ravens got their franchise quarterback without relinquishing a king’s ransom, along with a helping of Rice.
Regular Season Statistical Comparison
* Rushing Attempts
Note: Flacco has started 71 regular season games; Ryan 69
Post Season Statistical Comparison
- Baltimore traded its first-round (No.8) pick to Jacksonville for the Jaguars’ first- (No. 26); two third- (No. 71) and (No. 89) and fourth-round (No. 125) picks. Jacksonville selected Derrick Harvey, de, Florida. Baltimore traded No. 26 and No. 89 to Houston and selected (No. 71) and (No. 125).
- Houston traded its first-round (No. 18) pick to Baltimore for the Ravens’ first- (No.26); third- (No. 89) and sixth-round (No. 173) picks. Baltimore selected Joe Flacco, qb, Delaware. Houston selected Duane Brown, ot, Virginia Tech; (No. 89) and (No. 173).
- Baltimore traded its second-round (No. 38) to Seattle for the Seahawks’ second- (No. 55) and third-round (No. 86) picks. Seattle selected John Carlson, te, Notre Dame. Baltimore selected Ray Rice, rb, Rutgers and (No. 86).