The 2022 season saw the Falcons turn over their offense to rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder. While that has led to the expectation he will handle the No. 1 role moving forward, that has not formally been decided yet.
The third-rounder was one of several Day 2 selections during last spring’s draft, making Ridder part of the unheralded class of 2022 signal-callers. With veteran Marcus Mariota in place as the starter to begin the campaign, it was considered a matter of time before Ridder was installed as the No. 1. That ultimately took place during the team’s bye week, allowing him to play throughout the rest of the season.
Ridder went 2-2 in his four starts, putting up pedestrian numbers in terms of passing yards (708), yards per attempt (6.2) and completion percentage (63.5%). However, the former Bearcat went without an interception in his limited audition, something owner Arthur Blank noted as one of a few positives in his evaluation of the young passer.
“We’re very excited about Desmond Ridder,” Blank said, via ESPNs Michael Rothstein. “I think from the time he came into training camp, he showed great capabilities as a leader amongst the rookies and then amongst the vets… We’re committed to the position obviously, and we know we need a good leader there, and I think we have it in Ridder.”
Notably, both Blank and head coach Arthur Smith fell short of fully endorsing Ridder as their 2023 starter (in the sense that the Commanders with Sam Howell, for instance, have). Mariota is still on the books next year at a cap hit of $14.5MM, but Atlanta would see $12MM in savings by releasing him in place of more cost-effective competition for the starting role. The Falcons currently hold the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft, though they have plenty of other priorities coming off of a second straight 7-10 season.
Smith added that he and the rest of the organization “feel[s] good about where we’re at” with respect to the QB position. With more moves very likely to be made in the near future, however, Atlanta will be a team to watch as they continue to re-tool this offseason.
8 comments on “Latest On Desmond Ridder, Falcons’ QB Plans”
tbf if they dont blow the week 1 game to the saints, they make the playoffs so they might be closer then others might think, a QB away
I would have never drafted him in the first place. Said all along that his pro comp was Mariota, and who wants to draft that guy?! Lol. However, Atl did like him enough to draft him, so might as well give him a chance to develop and see what he’s going to be. Start building up around him so you’ll be ready to give the next guy a real shot.
HC that loves to run. Lamar is available. Plus an owner that will spend anything (picks, players and cash) to try and become a winner in the league.
Makes sense to me. Another super athlete QB in Atlanta a la Michael Vick. I think Lamar would do well down there.
His first two games came on the road against a good Saints defense and in terrible weather in Baltimore. His last two starts against the Cards and Bucs were much better. He did the one thing MM refused to do, get the ball to Drake. Ridder is gonna be just fine, they need to load up on defense in the draft.
I agree. Ridder did better than expected in his starts given the circumstances. He really had no negatives.
Beef up the defense and bring in another legit target in the passing game and maybe another day 2 RB to keep TylerA from getting too banged up and you make the playoffs (other NFC South teams are too cap strapped, old, and talent poor).
I would like to see them invest in a vet presence at QB, but with the expectation he is the backup and sideline mentor. I would also like to see them draft another Day 2 QB to be the backup or start in training for 2024 forward. Paying QB premiums on that first free agent contract is a cap killer and I believe in keeping the QB chains moving if you will.
I never understand situations like this. If you drafted him last year then you should feel confident in starting him. If you aren’t comfortable now then why did you bother drafting him? Should have taken another position.
I suppose that, in this case, it was more of a value pick than a targeted one. That is to say, the Falcons figured that they could bet on the chance that Ridder shows good promise at that spot, not necessarily that they thought it was a sure thing. The payoff, if it happened, would be worth the expenditure.
Day Two QBs are rarely long term starters, but long term starters are rare as is. If you get one, that’s a great value. I suppose Ridder’s body of work made him seem more likely than other comparable quarterbacks to make it. He seems very bright, and he has had good experience leading a non traditional power team, so it probably isn’t farfetched to say that his future as a starter will be more heavily dependent than normal on the right coaching. There’s no guarantee that Ridder will be the best hypothetical option for Atlanta (or any team), but the best version of himself probably will depend more on good scheming and coaching as a young starter than more highly drafted QBs.