2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Desmond Ridder

2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Desmond Ridder

by February 11, 2022 6 comments

Desmond Ridder and five other quarterbacks all have a case to be the first quarterback selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. He came to Cincinnati as a three-star quarterback and has shined. Ridder led an impressive Cincinnati Bearcats team to the College Football Playoffs this season, making them the first non-Power 5 school in history to make the playoffs. The redshirt senior provides intriguing ability as a scrambler but also with excellent arm talent for teams quarterback-needy in the draft.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Scouting Reports.

Player Bio

Name: Desmond Ridder
Jersey: No. 9
Position: Quarterback
School: Cincinnati
Class: Redshirt Senior
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 215 lbs

Games Watched: Indiana (2021), Notre Dame (2021), Alabama (2021)

Major Injury History: None

Player Breakdown

Arm Talent (14.5/15)

Arm talent is a strength for Ridder. He has shown the ability to make throws down the field with plenty of air behind the ball. He is not always accurate on his deep shots but is capable of launching the ball down the field. Ridder can make throws outside the numbers, with spotty precision, but his arm puts no restraints on him.

Accuracy (8/15)

Ridder’s accuracy is very inconsistent. A lot of the time he will find an open receiver but struggle to hit them in stride or place it well. Ridder’s inaccuracy issues come on throws to all three levels and do not seem to be related to his mechanics because they are excellent. He can make throws into tight windows. but also seems to miss open receivers as well.

Decision Making (13/15)

Making decisions is a pretty good trait for Ridder. He does a good job of identifying which receivers will be open and which will not. Sometimes Ridder struggles to pick up blitzes before the snap but making decisions is not a big concern. His mobility is excellent so he could look to become more aware to let his decision-making and mobility shine.

Progressions (9/10)

Ridder can move through his reads well when he is asked to do so. However, with a lot of run-pass options in the game plan throughout his college career, he was not given as much freedom. A lot of Cincinnati’s offense revolved around manufactured throws so his ability to read progressions is not on full display on his tape, but he is capable of doing so.

Pocket Awareness (5/10)

Pocket awareness is another area of concern for Ridder. He has excellent mobility but does not always sense where pressure is coming from to evade it. Ridder is not great at picking up blitzes before the snap which makes it difficult for him to avoid pressure when it comes. If he can improve his awareness in the pocket, other areas of his game could be maximized.

Anticipation/Touch (8/10)

Anticipation and touch are both areas where Ridder has displayed talent in. He is good at figuring out when receivers will get open while or before they make their break. Ridder made some throws with good touch, but not all of them were great. He completed throws with terrific precision and gives his receivers the chance to make a play, but once again, was not consistent.

Out of Structure (8/10)

Ridder is pretty good when he needs to make a play out of the structure. He showed decent accuracy when throwing on the move. Sometimes he missed off-platform throws but it should not be held against him much because the trait is a bonus and not a necessity. Ridder can scramble as well if he feels the pressure early enough to pick up extra yards.

Mobility (9.75/10)

Since Ridder is not elite with accuracy, he has to make up for it somewhere else. Mobility is one of his best traits. When Ridder escapes a collapsing pocket he can move quickly down the field. The only knock on his mobility is doing so while inside the pocket, he is not always good at stepping up to avoid pressure.

Mechanics (5/5)

Ridder’s mechanics are excellent. He has a nice base with good bends in his legs. Ridder’s delivery comes from over the top and the high release is tight. He keeps his arm at a nice angle and since he has good height has no problem seeing over the defense. His accuracy issues do not stem from his mechanics which makes it puzzling.

Player Summary

Ridder will probably be selected in the draft because of his exceptional mobility and arm talent. He struggles with accuracy and pocket awareness leaving some question marks about consistency at the next level. One area he is consistent in though is in his mechanics which are excellent. Ridder has the physical tools to be successful but needs to be more consistent to succeed at the next level.

Rookie Projections: Backup Quarterback

Third Year Projections: Backup Quarterback

Final Grade (80.25/100): Early Third Round

Player Comp: Ryan Tannehill


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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

Kamran Nia is a journalist from Los Angeles, California.

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