INDIANAPOLIS -- A coaching change before his senior season may have been the first step in Matt Ryan's pro career.

Boston College hired Jeff Jagodzinski, a longtime NFL assistant. As he readies for the draft as a top quarterback prospect, Ryan believes he has a head start in knowing how to operate in the pros.

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"Even more so than the X's and O's, I think he gives you an idea of what to expect in terms of preparation, how to break down each day of the week in terms of what you should be looking at in terms of film study," Ryan said Friday at the NFL scouting combine.

One team that may be looking for a quarterback is the Atlanta Falcons, who will pick at No. 3 in the draft. The player they thought would hold the position for years, Michael Vick, is serving a 23-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to federal charges in a dogfighting operation.

Ryan sounded as though he was lobbying to be selected by the Falcons.

"It's a great city," Ryan said. "(Owner) Arthur Blank has done a great job, I think, in Atlanta. He's made a strong commitment to the city with everything that's gone on in the past year and has done it with class. I've got a lot of respect for that organization."

As if joining any franchise as a highly drafted quarterback isn't hard enough, a spot with a club trying to rescue its image would carry a unique set of challenges.

"I certainly think that I could help," Ryan said. "Community is something that's been important to me. It was important to me while I was at Boston College. I think I'd be a good fit."

Billy Devaney, the St. Louis Rams' new executive vice president of player personnel, evaluated Ryan while scouting quarterbacks in his previous job as the Falcons' assistant general manager.

"I like everything about the guy," Devaney said. "The intangibles, everything it takes to play the position, off the field, the leadership, the intelligence, being a team guy -- he's got it."

The Miami Dolphins hold the first pick. Ryan said he has spoken briefly with general manager Jeff Ireland and coach Tony Sparano.

He had to concede that he wasn't always a fan of Miami's new executive vice president of football operations, Bill Parcells.

"He was with the Giants; I always grew up an Eagles fan," said Ryan, who is from Exton, Pa. "He was with the Cowboys, as well. Those were kind of the two teams I didn't like growing up."

Ryan will run the 40-yard dash at the combine but will wait until Boston College's Pro Day on March 18 to throw for scouts. He believes passing to receivers he's familiar with will more accurately represent his skills.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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