Drafted: ROUND: 3 - Pick Number: 74 (ATL)
Draft Profile: BioAs a recruit Ridder, received scholarship offers from just two schools: Eastern Kentucky in the FCS and Cincinnati in the Group of Five. After redshirting his first year, Ridder won the number one quarterback job as a freshman and has now 34 starts for Cincinnati.
Ridder ended t his 2018 campaign with 2,445 passing yards and 20 touchdowns. Additionally, he would add 583 rushing yards and 5 scores for Cincinnati showing his talents as a dual-threat athlete.
Ridder had a less impressive 2019 season where he completed just 55.1% of his passes. Although, he still managed to produce 346 total yards and 3 touchdowns against Memphis in the AAC Championship Game. He was the MVP of the Birmingham Bowl.
In 2020 Ridder came back to form and led the Bearcats to a 9-1 record where his 22 total career scores set the record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. Also, he had career highs for completion percentage (66.2%), passing yards per attempt (8.2), rushing touchdowns (12), and average rushing yards (6.0). He received first-team All-AAC honors and was the first Cincinnati QB to be named the AAC Offensive Player of the Year.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Enough arm strength to drive the ball through tight windows up to 20 yards downfield. Spreads the ball around to multiple receivers.
- He’s tall at 6’4″ and moves very well. He’s not super fast land elusive, but his Kaepernick like long strides allow him to cover ground well
- Sees the field very well when the play breaks down and occasionally changes plays at the line.
- Very confident passer and shows good accuracy and feel when in rhythm. Showed better ball placement from past years and throws very catchable passes. Puts too much air in some of his throws and needs to show a lower trajectory on deep throws.
- Athletic quarterback who is a threat to leave the pocket and gain positive yardage at any time. Possesses very good vision balance, elusiveness, and deceptive speed and power as a runner.
- Generally accurate on intermediate and short throws; flashes anticipation and placement on intermediate outs and the ability to lead receivers on deeper throws.
- Possesses a strong right arm and is capable of making every NFL throw easily. Can drive the deep out to the sideline from the opposite hash and has no problem threading the needle between closing defenders. Easily zips to all areas of the field, demonstrating very good touch on underneath routes to running backs and receivers, as well as down the sideline on deep passes.
- He made Bruce Feldman’s 2021 College Football Freaks List, and reports that he runs a 4.55 40 and 4.00 shuttle with a 36-inch vertical and a 10-foot-8 broad jump at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds.
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Too often fails to give receivers a chance to make a play after the catch. High completion percentage padded by many quick screens.
- Not the most accurate QB, where he has struggled with completion percentage up until 2020
- Doesn't have a lot of touch on his passes
- Takes too many sacks and this will likely be more of an issue in the NFL
- Has struggled with his decision-making and needs to improve his pre-snap recognition skills to read defenses and see blitzes. Doesn't decipher information as quickly as you would like, but does see the entire field and understands coverage.
Scouting Report: SummaryRidder is a boom-bust prospect with similarities to Josh Allen. He’ll likely need time to be accustomed to the NFL game and develop his ability as a progression-style passer, but the foundation for him to become a dynamic dual-threat quarterback in the NFL is there if he can work on his accuracy issues.
Overall he's a very raw quarterback who has a chance to make the first round in the 2022 NFL Draft, although we regard him as more of a second-round prospect who could be featured early by a team that uses the RPO game.
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