Atlanta Falcons Rumors: Matt Ryan Doubt Forces Dak Prescott, Kevin Hogan, Jake Coker Draft Interest? Julio Jones, Roddy White Defend QB

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Feb 03, 2016 12:46 PM EST
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Matt Ryan
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan rushes past the Carolina Panthers defense during a 2015 game."

It is no secret Matt Ryan did not have a good 2015 season. The quarterback struggled in Kyle Shanahan's offensive system and expressed his lack of comfort with the new plays throughout the year. Interceptions and sacks became the new normal for Ryan and the Falcons cannot have these things repeat next year. After trade rumors circled around Ryan towards the end of the year, will the Falcons eye a late-round quarterback in the NFL Draft to begin grooming?

According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Falcons need to draft a quarterback to put behind Ryan for the future. After seven strong seasons with the team, Ryan hit an ugly slump that turned into 16 interceptions and 12 rumbles. Currently signed through the 2018 season, the Falcons are not moving on from Ryan this year, but if another bad season hits the quarterback then Atlanta will have to look at their options and with no quality depth at the position the franchise could begin building things up this year.

The Falcons would not think about drafting a quarterback until a later round, but there could be some talent lingering. It would not be a shocking move. Last year the New Orleans Saints drafted Garrett Grayson in the third round. While the Falcons likely would not take a look until the fourth at the earliest, players like Kevin Hogan, Jake Coker, Dak Prescott and Cody Kessler could be lingering around those rounds. Would they be more favored than Sean Renfree who currently occupies the position?

One thing is clear, Ryan needs to bounce back in 2016. The Falcons have the offensive firepower to help and now he simply needs to take the next step under Shanahan. Head coach Dan Quinn stressed that he has full faith in Ryan bouncing back in 2016 and leading the team without issues.

"I know he's comfortable in the system, (but) why did we have those turnovers that caused some of the negative situations to take place? He absolutely agreed, (saying) 'Absolutely, I can dominate and play in the role that we want here,'" Quinn said, via ESPN.com.

The Falcons will take steps to improve the offensive line. Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman solidify the fun game. Julio Jones is in the prime of his career. Atlanta will add another receiver to the offense in order to begin replacing Roddy White while Justin Hardy and Nick Williams will get chances to improve as well. If Ryan cannot make it work in 2016, the Falcons will have to begin thinking about the future and getting someone in now could help the transition if one is needed.

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