The Atlanta Falcons added some youth to their quarterback room by selecting Desmond Ridder with the No. 74 pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. Ridder saw a ton of college football experience as the Cincinnati Bearcats starter the last four seasons, and the next step is translating that into a future at the NFL level. He became the second quarterback off the board.
Ridder has the intelligence and maturity to play the quarterback position with all the time he spent guiding the Bearcats, ultimately leading the first Group of 5 team to the College Football Playoff. He is used to winning, which is another positive attribute he brings to the NFL.
Ridder does not have spectacular arm strength, and his accuracy could use some work. He can use his legs to make up for not being an elite passer early in his career, but he has the mechanics that could lead to improvements in the passing game. Ridder plays the quarterback position with confidence and leadership skills that his new NFL team should love.
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Fantasy football impact
The former Bearcat found his new home in Atlanta. Ridder will have rookie wide receiver Drake London and tight end Kyle Pitts as weapons in his first year. Ridder needs to work on his accuracy but he is a dual-threat quarterback that could make him a viable fantasy option.
The biggest question is whether he will (or a matter of when he will) take the starting job from Marcus Mariota. Atlanta likely won’t rush him into a starter role but Ridder will work his way into a starter role. His running ability and elite weapons will make him a good asset in fantasy.