Head 2 Head: Brohm vs. Ryan

Louisville's Brian Brohm and Boston College's Matt Ryan are drawing plenty of attention from pro scouts as they evaluate talent for the 2008 NFL Draft. So who's the better quarterback? Scout.com's Chris Steuber provides his analysis.


Advantage: Brohm

Brohm: At 6-foot-4, 228 pounds, Brohm has a solid build and impressive leg strength. He has the ability to fight off defenders and still position himself to make plays.

Ryan: He’s listed at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, but his lean build doesn’t measure up to his weight. He doesn’t show the ability to break away from defenders when corralled in the pocket.


Advantage: Ryan

Brohm: He gets too much air under the ball when it’s released. Brohm’s passes get to his target, but he doesn’t possess an overwhelmingly strong arm.

Ryan: He has a nice straight-line fastball that arrives in a hurry and is a catchable ball for his receivers.


Advantage: Brohm

Brohm: Although he doesn’t possess an elite arm, he’s very accurate with his throws. He’s completed over 65-percent of his passes this season, despite not having his top receiver, Harry Douglas, available for two games.

Ryan: Having a strong arm doesn’t always account for delivering the ball with high precision. Ryan tends to overthrow the ball, which in turn results in an errant pass. He completed 60 percent of his 607 attempts this season.


Advantage: Ryan

Brohm: He holds the ball chest high in his drop back and has it cocked back near his ear. He delivers it with a quick short arm motion, but doesn’t possess elite velocity as it takes a lofty flight.

Ryan: He holds the ball chest high in his drop back and delivers it with a quick short arm release. The ball is delivered at a high point, next to his right ear, which gives him great velocity.


Advantage: Brohm

Brohm: He stands tall in the pocket, goes through his reads, and waits until the last moment to deliver the ball.

Ryan: He also stands tall in the pocket, but when he feels the first sign of pressure he will automatically use his mobility to move outside the pocket.


Advantage: Brohm

Brohm: His delivery, touch and accuracy, along with his pocket presence, bode well for distinct decision-making. Brohm doesn’t force the issue and takes what the defense gives him. He threw 12 interceptions this season, and eight of them occurred during the last half of the season.

Ryan: He always seems to be in a rush in the pocket, almost as if he can’t make up his mind about what to do. Ryan doesn’t handle pressure well and will force throws. In Boston College’s huge comeback victory over Virginia Tech — a win that gave them an 8 – 0 record — Ryan struggled until the last few minutes of the game. He threw 18 interceptions this season, and 12 of them came in the Eagles last six games, which includes the game against Virginia Tech.


Advantage: Ryan

Brohm: He has limited mobility out of the pocket and doesn’t show great lateral movement. Brohm is a good north-south runner but doesn’t have the acceleration to get outside.

Ryan: He has excellent lateral movement and always seems to be on the run. Ryan makes a lot of throws outside the pocket and will also look to run for positive yards.


Advantage: Even

Brohm: He decided to return to Louisville for his senior season after leading the Cardinals to an Orange Bowl appearance and a 12 – 1 record. Brohm was a lock to be a top-ten selection in the 2007 Draft but decided to stay, even though his head coach Bobby Petrino left for the NFL to coach the Atlanta Falcons. The Cardinals had a disappointing season this year, but his decision to stay showed a lot of character.

Ryan: He’s known as a very good player but an even better person off the field. Ryan has tremendous character and is a leader others look up to on and off the field. He has that certain intangible that separates him from the other QBs in the country.



Advantage: Brohm

Brian Brohm and Matt Ryan are two of the top quarterbacks in the nation. They’re premier talents that offer teams at the next level “franchise caliber” quarterbacks that have the ability to change a losing situation into a winner. But after evaluating the two, if I were starting a franchise today and had to decide between Brohm and Ryan, I’d choose Brohm. Ryan is a nice prospect with an elite arm, but his decision-making worries me and I question his ability to read pro defenses. Brohm’s stature in the pocket is comforting, and his focus behind center is top-notch. Ryan tends to force the issue while Brohm will look off defenders and take the safe route. I like Ryan’s mobility better than Brohm’s, but Brohm has the overall intangibles that will make him a more successful QB at the NFL level.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999.

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