A look at the NFC South’s best and worst from the past five NFL drafts, one team at a time.
Best choice: Matt Ryan. The Falcons got their franchise quarterback with the third overall pick in 2008. That was a great start for coach Mike Smith and general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Ryan’s been good from the beginning, but he elevated his game to the next level in 2012 as the Falcons became a pass-first team. At times, Ryan was in the conversation for Most Valuable Player and he should only continue to get better. The next chore for the Falcons is to lock Ryan up with a contract extension.
Worst choice: Peria Jerry. The defensive tackle was taken with the No. 24 overall pick in 2009. He had some injury problems in college, but that trend got worse when Jerry tore up his knee at the start of his rookie season. He’s never been the same player he was before the injury and has been reduced to a backup role.
Verdict pending: Peter Konz. A second-round pick in 2012, Konz wasn’t able to beat out guard Garrett Reynolds at the start of his rookie year. But Konz stepped into the starting lineup near midseason and had some good games. Still, Konz’s future is very much up in the air. Although it looks like he can be a solid guard, he may have to move to center if the Falcons don’t re-sign veteran Todd McClure.