The Atlanta Falcons have come to terms with third-round pick Desmond Ridder, a quarterback from the University of Cincinnati.
“The University of Cincinnati alum inked a four-year contract that will pay him a salary commiserate with him being the No. 74 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, according to the rookie wage scale,” wrote Scott Bair on the Falcons official site.
Ridder, like nearly all of the quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft fell down the board, and the Falcons were happy to get him in the third round with the No. 74 pick overall. There was some early speculation Ridder could go in the 1st round, or that the Falcons may take him with the No. 38 pick that they used on edge rusher Arnold Ebeketie.
The Falcons found themselves fortunate to get a player with the tools of Ridder in the third round. Ridder was the fastest quarterback at the NFL Combine and rushed for over 2,000 yards in his four years as a starter for the Bearcats.
Ridder is expected to compete with veteran Marcus Mariota, who was tagged as a comeback player of the year candidate by James Palmer of Good Morning Football, to replace Matt Ryan who was traded to the Indianapolis Colts before the draft.
Ridder and Mariota have a similar skill set in that they are both excellent runners. All eyes will be on the quarterbacks this season as the 2023 NFL Draft is considered to have several franchise quarterback candidates including C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young of Ohio State and Alabama respectively.
Should Ridder or Mariota have an encouraging season for the Falcons, Atlanta could be in a good position to draft one of the top defensive players in the like Young’s teammate edge rusher Will Anderson or interior lineman Jalen Carter from Georgia.