By Jeremy Hritz
Seven games to go in the regular season, and a NFL QB preview? Absolutely. This is the second quarterback I have previewed in preparation for the 2022 NFL Draft, following Malik Willis. Today, I take a quick look at Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati to provide an overview of his strengths, areas for growth, and how his game translates to the NFL.
Name: Desmond Ridder
Birthdate: 8/31/1999 (22 years old)
40-Yard Dash (estimated): 4.83
Class: Redshirt senior
Let’s begin with a look at Ridder’s statistics, the one thing that we have quantifiable, other than his measurables, to evaluate. So far this season, Ridder has thrown for 2699 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions, while leading his Cincinnati Bearcats to an 11-0 record, and currently the 4th spot in the College Football playoff. The guy is a proven winner, leading his team to success during his career, and with an opportunity to be a smaller Division I school in the playoff, it speaks volumes to his play and his leadership.
For his career, though there are still multiple games to be played, Ridder has 9604 yards, 82 touchdowns, and 26 interceptions. He has also shown effectiveness as a runner, though not as natural and explosive as Willis, amassing 2139 yards and 28 touchdowns. This is still an incredible body of work, and indicative that he can be a mobile threat as a signal caller.
Ridder possesses an NFL-caliber arm, and he can make any throw required of him, and he is mobile enough to mesh with relevant and innovative offensive systems, such as the one currently being implemented by Matt Canada. Mel Kiper, NFL Draft guru has stated that “Physically, athletically, he has it all. Precise, accurate passing, lacks consistency there – same thing with Josh Allen. If you can fix that, Desmond Ridder out of all these quarterbacks may have the most upside going into the NFL.”
Similar to Willis, Ridder has snags to work out in his game in terms of accuracy, which again in something that can be coached and developed, unlike arm strength and speed. He also appears to be a bit stiff in terms of his athleticism, and it sometimes appears that his mechanics and look a bit slow.
In terms of stature, while he is not as big, he is somewhat reminiscent of a young Cam Newton.
This much is for certain, there is a lot to like about Ridder, and he could be quarterback who is on the Steelers radar in 2022. Much more coverage and analysis to come regarding Ridder in the next several months.