Desmond Ridder Atlanta Falcons vs. Cincinnati Bengals Preseason. - John David Mercer - USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons

What is Desmond Ridder’s Ranking on QB Power Index?

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder hasn’t been overlooked by national media. He’s been looked down upon all spring and summer.

Once it was clear the Falcons wouldn’t engage in the fool’s errand of pursuing an unattainable Lamar Jackson, Ridder.. and the Falcons became a punchline.

Nick Shook took over’s QB Power Index from Gregg Rosenthal this year. It’s no surprise that he has Ridder ranked a lowly 29th. However, it is interesting that Shook thinks it could be Arthur Smith that holds Ridder back rather than a lack of talent.

“I’m placing Ridder below Young and Stroud for two reasons: I don’t see his ceiling being as high, and as Atlanta demonstrated in 2022, the Falcons might not lean on Ridder as much as Carolina and Houston could with Young and Stroud,” wrote Shook on

“That doesn’t mean Ridder isn’t capable. He went 2-2 as a starter in 2022, completing 63.5 percent of his passes without throwing a single interception. But it’s fair to wonder whether he’ll be a quarterback who can elevate this offense, or if he’ll simply take care of it while teammates like Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier carry the bulk of the workload.”

“Ridder can help his standing (and the Falcons can help Ridder) by finally involving Kyle Pitts in a significant way. It’s a shame to see such talent wasted in an offense that preferred to run the ball more than target a first-round talent through the air.”

“But in order to do that, Ridder has to earn the trust of Arthur Smith’s staff, which has found a way to win seven games in each of the last two seasons despite a notable talent disparity. Perhaps this is the year things start to change on the offensive side of the ball, with Ridder playing an important part.”

The Falcons attempted the second-fewest passes in the NFL last season. Was that a product of Arthur Smith’s offense, or an indictment on starting quarterback Marcus Mariota?

Pitts frequently faced double and triple teams before his season ended because of a hit to his knees from behind against the Chicago Bears.

The insertion of Ridder and the absence of Pitts allowed Drake London to flourish the final-four games of the season. Pitts will have a lot more help in the passing game with the emergence of Pitts and Allgeier, and all-purpose weapons Robinson and Cordarrelle Patterson.

The national media has a bad habit of overlooking Ridder’s athleticism. Ridder was the fastest quarterback at the 2022 NFL Combine with a 4.52 forty. His Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of 9.62 gives him athletic comparisons to Robert Griffin III and Kordell “Slash” Stewart.

His ability to tuck and run gives the Falcons the mobility of Mariota without the drawbacks of him as a passer.

As far as Desmond Ridder elevating the offense or just take care of his playmakers, Ridder and the Falcons won’t care as long as the offense is effective.

Scott Kennedy
Scott Kennedy is an Atlanta native and 20 year media veteran including time as Director of Scouting at, Managing Editor at 247Sports, VP Content Operations at Sports Illustrated and more. Scott has appeared as a recruiting and NFL Draft analyst on dozens of media including ESPN, NFL Network, USA Today, NY Times, and more.