2022 NFL Draft: Desmond Ridder Player Profile

Desmond Ridder
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Desmond Ridder NFL Draft Overview

Position: Quarterback
Height: 6’-3”
Weight: 211 pounds
School: Cincinnati

Desmond Ridder 2022 NFL Draft Profile

Quarterback Desmond Ridder enters the NFL Drat as a four-year starter coming out of Cincinnati, now finding himself as one of the top quarterback prospects available to take a leap to the professional level. Scouts raised questions over some of Ridder’s playstyle and skills, mainly his arm latent and accuracy. His leadership and poise have proven to be worthy of a look at the NFL level.

Throughout his collegiate career, Desmond Ridder became the winningest quarterback in school history. He also set a program record for most rushing touchdowns from a quarterback with 22. During a career year in 2020, Ridder notched career-high marks of completion percentage (66.2%), rushing touchdowns (12) and passing yards per attempt (8.2). He also earned AAC Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-AAC honors as a senior.

Strengths

  • Has shown continuous improvement and development to end his college career;
  • Has good leadership skills that could translate well to the NFL;
  • Mobile quarterback that can extend plays with his legs;
  • Can be both mobile and stick in the pocket;
  • Has shown poise and willingness to be patient during plays and running an offense.

Weaknesses

  • Arm strength and the deep ball is an area of concern that still needs work;
  • Does not have a very quick release on his throws;
  • Accuracy issues have led to some inconsistency;
  • Has the tendency to take the sack rather than trying to find a way to get rid of the ball.

NFL Comparison: Alex Smith

Teams With Need At PositionCarolina Panthers, Houston Texans, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh SteelersAtlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks

Projection: First-round pick

Bottom Line on Desmond Ridder

Ridder made the right choice in not entering the draft a year ago while waiting to make the leap to the NFL until this year. He went from a mid-draft prospect to a top-five quarterback in 2022, gaining experience and maturity that will be valuable at the next level.

Ridder is viewed as a quarterback who perhaps sets himself apart from other prospects in the draft when it comes to his passing ability and mobility. He is an athletic prospect who is not afraid to air the ball out and do it all with confidence and poise while leading his team. Those characteristics should be able to translate well to the NFL in what might become an immediate role leading an offense.

Like other prospects, Ridder has some flaws in his game but has the potential to evolve into an average starting quarterback in the NFL. The dual-threat quarterback is probably more of a boom-or-bust caliber prospect than other quarterbacks in this draft class. Yet, his boom potential could convince a quarterback-needy team enough to take a chance on him in the opening round of the draft as their quarterback of the future. The past few days in the NFL opened several additional teams who may be willing to draft a quarterback, and Ridder’s combine performance could tempt several teams to take a flier.

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