‘That Was the Big Moment’ – Matt Ryan on How the 2021 NFL Draft Had Him at the Edge of His Seat

Published 05/24/2021, 3:43 PM EDT


Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan recently turned 36. And his last Super Bowl appearance stretches back to 2017. 

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With the plethora of quarterback options available in this season draft class, there was reason to believe the Falcons would draft a rookie to replace the veteran. 

But in the end, with the fourth overall pick, the franchise drafted tight end, Kyle Pitts. A moment of relief for Matt Ryan whose job was probably on the line. 

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Matt Ryan glad to have Pitts in the mix

Talking to Sports Illustrated the 2016 NFL MVP talked about his experience through the whole draft process. “When the pick went in, that was the big moment,” Ryan said.

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Ryan though thanked the franchise for being upfront with him about what they wanted from their first-round pick.

“To the organization’s credit, they were very up-front about that from the start — ‘Hey, we’re gonna pick whoever we think is the best person to help us moving forward.’

And they said they had a lot of belief and all those things, but they were up-front from the start about that.” he said.

Ryan though admitted that he was not aware of who the franchise would draft till the Falcons made the pick.

“I knew when Kyle got drafted that Kyle got drafted,” Ryan said. 

Ryan went as close as one can get to winning the Super Bowl with the Falcons back in 2016. Leading 28-3 till the third quarter against the New England Patriots, almost everyone believed that the Super Bowl was headed to Atlanta. But then we all know what followed.

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Ryan maintains that he still has a lot left in the tank to deliver at the highest level. And the addition of Pitts will only help make things easier for the QB.  

“I was fired up!” Ryan said regarding the drafting of Pitts. “I mean, I watched this guy play through college, so it was like, Oh, alright, let’s go! I was watching it with my wife, and I think she was probably more fired up than me,”  he added. 

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With the Falcons adding the versatile tight end to their ranks, do you think the franchise can make it to the postseason in 2021?

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Shivayan Roy

754 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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