Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder - Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons News

BR Names QB Desmond Ridder as Falcons’ Biggest Question After 2023 OTAs

Offseason workouts are in full swing around the NFL. With that, young players such as Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder are getting valuable practice reps.

But on June 9, Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine named Ridder the Falcons’ biggest question at the end of OTA offseason workouts.

“This is the question that is going to drive the narrative for the entire 2023 campaign for the Falcons.

“They had their opportunities to go another direction at quarterback this offseason. Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo were available in free agency. They could have made a trade up to get Will Levis in the late first round before the Titans did so in the second round.

“There’s even a case to be made that Arthur Smith wouldn’t have had to try too hard to reunite with Ryan Tannehill given the trade Tennessee made to get Levis.

“But the Falcons didn’t The only move they made was to sign Taylor Heinicke to replace Marcus Mariota,” wrote Ballentine. “Instead, they worked on improving the offense around Ridder. They drafted Bijan Robinson with their first pick in the draft, re-signed Kaleb McGary and signed Mack Hollins and Jonny Smith in free agency.

“It all fits the vision of Arthur Smith’s offense. They have big-bodied receivers in Drake London and Hollins. They have the tight ends to play in multiple personnel packages in Jonnu Smith and Kyle Pitts.

“The only question left to answer is whether Ridder is the guy to bring in all together.”

Ballentine isn’t necessarily wrong. Ridder is simply a question because he’s only made four NFL starts.

But it seems a bit odd for Ballentine to play Monday morning quarterback to argue the Falcons would be better off with Carr, Garoppolo or Tannehill. Although they have more experience than Ridder, all of them have their questions going into 2023.

That’s especially true for Garoppolo, who reportedly failed his physical this offseason.

Ridder went 2-2 with a 63.5% completion percentage and 6.2 yards per pass average in four starts last season. He also had 2 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Ridder didn’t prove he’s a future franchise quarterback in those four starts. Be he was good enough to earn the opportunity to start in 2023.

And given that Ridder was a third-round pick, the Falcons should want to see what the 23-year-old can do.

Looking at the bigger picture, there’s good news with Ballentine naming Ridder the team’s biggest question. Clearly, Ballentine expects the Falcons defense to be better in 2023.