2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder

Heading into the 2021 College Football season, Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder was considered by some to be one of the best prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft class at the position. While he has led Cincinnati to an undefeated season, his draft stock hasn’t remained that high. With an invite to the 2022 Senior Bowl, Desmond Ridder should perform well for NFL Scouts throughout the week of practice, as well as the game. In this scouting report, we’ll breakdown what makes Desmond Ridder a top prospect at the quarterback position, as well as how his skills and abilities translate into the NFL.

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Desmond Ridder 40 Time

One of the biggest appeals of Ridder’s game is his sneaky mobility. More than willing to take off and run, he is also heavily involved in the running game. Ridder is not a track star by any means, but is more than capable of extending plays with his legs. I predict that Desmond Ridder will post a 40 time in the 4.7 to 4.8 range.

 

Desmond Ridder Injury History

Ridder has luckily managed to stay very healthy throughout his career. While he did have an injury to his throwing shoulder in 2019, it appears to be no big deal and he has had no lingering effects. As a result, he should get a green light during the medical evaluation process at the NFL Combine in March.

 

Desmond Ridder Scouting Report

Pros
  • Athletically-Gifted, Especially For The Quarterback Position
  • Mechanically Sound Throwing Motion
  • Maneuvers Throughout The Pocket Quite Well, Despite Pressure
Cons
  • Needs To Improve His Overall Accuracy As A Quarterback
  • Gun-Slinger Mentality As He Will Throw Into Coverage
  • Arm Strength Could Be An Area Of Concern For Some

Desmond Ridder is a four-year starter for the Cincinnati Bearcats. He plays quarterback for the Bearcats and has emerged as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, leading Cincinnati to the College Football Playoffs this season. He possesses good height and solid weight for the position. His predicted 40 time of 4.7 seconds is slightly above the league average for his position.

As mentioned, Ridder is a good athlete, especially for the quarterback position. This athleticism pops up on film often as he is heavily involved in the Cincinnati run game. This mobility is also evident when watching him traverse the pocket. When the pocket does begin to collapse, he does a good job of sensing where his escape routes are and calmly getting to them. In addition, he is also a very clean passer mechanically as his throwing motion is solid. Furthermore, his footwork has no glaring flaws overall.

Alas, Desmond Ridder just isn’t a very-talented passer. In my opinion, his ball placement is routinely off. Often missing high or long, Ridder does not make things easy for his receivers. Couple this with his general lack of arm strength down the field or across the field and outside the numbers, and we have a quarterback who is simply incapable of making many NFL throws. Additionally, he flashes a tendency to lock-in on his intended targets. Much of this is likely due to the lack of fully fleshed out passing plays in the Cincinatti playbook, but it would require a massive jump in the NFL.

 

Desmond Ridder NFL Draft Projection

As the 2022 NFL Draft approaches for Desmond Ridder, he will have to nail the off-season process, such as the Senior Bowl, to raise his draft stock in my eyes. Currently, I have him projected as a day-three pick. On that day, any number of teams could select him that are interested in a developmental quarterback. These teams are likely to include the New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers or the Seattle Seahawks. He has much work to do to become an NFL contributor, but I do believe that his floor is that of a long-term NFL backup.

Ultimately, I see Desmond Ridder being a project that an NFL front office will be able to develop over time. I’m not sure if he’ll ever reach the status of being a franchise quarterback, but certainly not in his first few years in the league. Simply put, he’s going to need to develop as a passer in this league, although a coaching staff could look at designing plays around his athleticism early in his career.

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