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Falcons take QB Matt Ryan third overall in NFL draft

Boston College standout chosen with No. 1 pick

POSTED: May 7, 2008 5:01 a.m.
Darron Cummings/The Associated Press

Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan (12) throws a pass during the third quarter of a college football game against Notre Dame last Oct. 13 in South Bend, Ind. Ryan was the top pick of the Atlanta Falcons with the No. 3 choice in Saturday's NFL Draft.

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NEW YORK -- The Atlanta Falcons, looking for another franchise quarterback to replace Michael Vick, have picked Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan in the NFL.

Ryan went third overall.

Vick, the former No. 1 overall pick, is serving a prison sentence for dogfighting charges.

The draft immediately went long Saturday when Miami officially selected Michigan tackle Jake Long to start the proceedings. St. Louis then took another Long, Virginia defensive end Chris, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long.

Jake Long signed a five-year contract with the Dolphins this week worth $57.75 million, $30 million of it guaranteed. After commissioner Roger Goodell announced Long's name at Radio City Music Hall, the St. Louis Rams went on the clock.

The NFL cut the first round from 15 minutes per pick to 10, and the Dolphins used only a few seconds to hand in their card. Jake Long became the first top overall pick from Michigan since Tom Harmon in 1941.

Long was accompanied by several family members onstage as he donned a Dolphins hat.

He was followed by the other Long, who proudly held up a Rams jersey and pointed to the fans in the upper deck of the hall. Chris Long is the second straight defensive lineman selected in the opening round by St. Louis, following Nebraska's Adam Carriker last year. Carriker likely will move to DT to open a spot for his new teammate.

After Atlanta took Ryan, Oakland went for the gamebreaking threat in Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. Kansas City then chose LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, a player many speculated would be the Falcons' top choice. 



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