Was Desmond Ridder the Right Quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons?
After a long wait for every quarterback not named Kenny Pickett (who was the 20th overall pick), Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder was finally the second quarterback drafted in the 2022 NFL Draft with the 74th overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons.
Ridder offers the superb combination of being a prospect who is younger (22.7) and experienced (49 games with 10-plus pass attempts). His final-season adjusted yards per attempt of 9.2 slots in second -- trailing only Pickett -- among the quarterbacks in this class who were expected to go fairly early.
From a fantasy perspective, Ridder will be an intriguing option as soon as he gets on the field thanks to his rushing ability. He ran for 18 touchdowns over his final two seasons at Cincinnati.
numberFire's Jim Sannes breaks down Ridder's profile and gives his top comparison.
"Ridder is similar to Jimmy Garoppolo coming out."@JimSannes thinks Desmond Ridder could be a quality starter in the NFL for the Falcons #DirtyBirds | #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/uvHVKSIE1p
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) April 30, 2022
Brandon Gdula's draft database has found these 10 prior prospects to have the most similar statistical profiles to Ridder’s. Keep in mind that these are based not on play style or traits but age, athleticism, draft equity, experience, efficiency, and production.
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Gdula's Take: Ridder is considered by a lot of scouts as the most NFL-ready passer in the draft, and he possesses elite rushing production. He'll be facing a big jump in competition level in the NFL, but there is plenty to like with Ridder, who is quietly in the conversation for the QB1 in this class.
Desmond Ridder's 2022 Outlook
On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Falcons are listed at +18000 to win the Super Bowl and +1900 to win the NFC South, and they have a win total projection of 4.5 -- with -120 odds on the under.
Ridder doesn't project for a fantasy football impact in 2022 behind Marcus Mariota but should eventually see reps down the stretch unless the Falcons reverse course and are competitive in 2022 under Mariota.