In most drafts, being the second quarterback to come off the board isn’t anything to turn your nose to. That said, in a draft like this year where only one quarterback was taken in the first two rounds, it does change the scope of things. While Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder did hear his name called on Day 2 when the Atlanta Falcons selected him with the No. 74 overall pick, the 22-year-old seems to have formed a chip on his shoulder after seeing the rest of the league pass on him for two rounds.
“It shouldn’t have taken this long,” Ridder told GM Terry Fontenot when the Falcons brass called him to tell him he was being drafted. “They done [expletive] up. I ain’t even gonna lie.”
Ridder was CBS Sports’ 70th-ranked prospect in this year’s class and QB5. That said, there were multiple mock drafts throughout the pre-draft process that pegged him to come off the board either at the bottom of the first round or somewhere in the second, so the fact that Atlanta was able to scoop him up in the third proved to be tremendous value, even if it may have been to his chagrin.
Of course, we’ve seen draft position be used as a great motivational tool for quarterbacks to go on and have stellar NFL careers. Tom Brady is the greatest and most extreme example after he went from being the No. 199 overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft to the greatest quarterback of all time. On the other side of the coin, simply making that proclamation and not proving teams wrong will put you in Josh Rosen territory, so the jury is still out on whether or not Ridder can truly make teams second guess their decision.
During his final year at Cincinnati, Ridder helped the Bearcats become the first Group of Five team to make the College Football Playoff. The two-time AAC Offensive Player of the Year also completed 64.9% of his passes in 2021 for 3,334 yards passing, 30 touchdowns, and just eight picks. He’ll now look to bring that production to the Falcons, who are looking to find a new franchise signal-caller after they traded Matt Ryan to the Colts earlier this offseason.