Quarterback #3: Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Coming into this season Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder was a popular candidate to emerge as the top quarterback prospect in this upcoming class. Ridder led the Bearcats to an outstanding season that resulted in a College Football playoff birth. However, he did not show the growth that many wanted to see this year. That being said Ridder still has all the physical tools that could make a very talented quarterback once he reaches the NFL.
In recent weeks teams have fallen in love with Ridder’s measurables and what he could bring to a team off the field. There have been comparisons to Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen for Ridder. Similar to Allen, Ridder has outstanding size and athleticism for a quarterback but needs to work on his mechanics at the next level. Besides that teams have been infatuated with Ridder’s personality and ability to lead. That was on full display during his time at Cincinnati and apparent during his meetings with teams during the draft process.
As the draft approaches the feeling is that a team may sneak Ridder into the end of the first round. The team that could take Ridder late in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft could be the Detroit Lions. Ridder would be a perfect fit for the growing culture in Detroit. Similar to Dan Campbell and the city of Detroit, Ridder is a tough player. He has experience leading an overlooked team to exceed expectations. Ridder would embrace the challenge of being the quarterback for the Detroit Lions and the city should embrace him back.
The Lions have Jared Goff under contract for another year who should begin the season as the team’s starting quarterback. Ridder could clean up his mechanics in practice during his rookie season. Detroit’s coaching staff showed last season they could get production out of young or underperforming players. They could afford to take a chance on Ridder and also wait for him to start while they continue to develop and grow this roster.
Prediction: The Detroit Lions use the 32nd overall pick acquired from the Los Angeles Rams to select Desmond Ridder.