Greatest Player: Matt Ryan
The Atlanta Falcons have had a few good-to-very good quarterbacks since the start of the 1990’s, ranging from guys like Chris Miller (a former Pro Bowl selection) to Michael Vick (once the most exciting player in the NFL). But none of those guys could hold a candle to what Matt Ryan has done for the Falcons’ franchise.
Ryan has almost double the amount of passing yards and touchdown passes as the guy who’s #2 on the Falcons’ all-time passing leaders list (Steve Bartkowski), and is the only quarterback in franchise history to have been named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.
Runner Up: Michael Vick
Trying to sum up Michael Vick’s career is a loaded question. He had periods of greatness that are sometimes easy to forget because of the off-field issues that derailed his career.
All things considered, he was a lot better than a lot of the quarterbacks that follow on this list. But he never won a Super Bowl and never became that transcendent player we thought he could become.
Challenger: Julio Jones
Julio Jones might be one of the most freakishly gifted athletes to play the wide receiver position in NFL history. His combination of size, speed, and strength just can’t be matched by any player on any defense. The five-time Pro Bowl selection has been named to the All-Pro team three times in his career, and led the league in catches and yards in 2015.
The only knock against Jones may come from the fact that he only has one season with double-digit touchdowns receiving over the course of his NFL career (he had 10 touchdowns in 2012). In fact, some critics may point to the fact that his he’s outside the top 180 players in league history in career touchdown catches (43), behind guys like Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin, Eric Decker, and Michael Crabtree.