Desmond Ridder Scouting Report & Fantasy Football Outlook

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Savvy NFL observers certainly do not see Marcus Mariota as a long-term solution at quarterback for Atlanta. So when Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder was one of a handful of the better QBs still available in the third round, the Falcons made the move for a guy that should emerge as their QB of the future.

It may be just a matter of time before Ridder starts for Atlanta, and we should expect a spirited competition for the 2022 starting slot in the preseason. Ridder has drawn some comparisons to former San Francisco, Kansas City, and Washington starter Alex Smith, but he is obviously more mobile than the retired QB.

Desmond Ridder NFL Draft Outlook

If Ridder does turn out to be like Smith, he will be a winning QB who is respected for his tenacity. He is well-regarded for his work ethic and intangibles and may exceed expectations because of his drive and hard-working approach to the game.

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Ridder should be a quick decision-maker at the pro level, which should ensure some success. However, there are concerns about his accuracy and ability to fit the ball into tight windows. But Ridder plays with a lot of poise and will do a good job of taking what the defense gives him.

Ridder’s mobility, combined with his confidence and smarts, could propel him to become better than expected as a real-life and fantasy football player.

Desmond Ridder Fantasy Football QB Tips

The Falcons have already started to decorate Ridder’s playmaking table with some tasty treats in Kyle Pitts and Drake London. He was drafted ahead of Malik Willis and could prove to be the more consistent passer of the two.

Ridder’s intangibles mark him as a possible winner at the NFL level, and his dual-threat ability can eventually push him into the fantasy QB1 conversation. He should have some instant appeal in two-QB and superflex formats. He should be on your radar right away in all formats.

Desmond Ridder Scouting Report


  • Great confidence and a team leader
  • Can make quick reads and sound decisions
  • Good mechanics and waits for the right read to develop


  • Ball placement and accuracy are early career concerns
  • Might take many sacks because he is so patient
  • Could expose himself to big hits and possible injuries as a runner


Scott Engel

Scott Engel is a Senior Sports Writer at The Game Day. Previously he was at and The Athletic. His work is also featured at RotoBaller and on Scott is a host on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. Scott is a four-time FSWA award winner and a 13-time finalist. He was an Associate Editor and featured writer at and his career began at CBS SportsLine, where he was a Senior Writer and Managing Editor. Scott was the Managing Director at RotoExperts.

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