@ SMU (2020), vs Army (2020), vs (N) UGA (2020), @ ND, vs (N) Alabama
Really good athlete with decent size for the position. A good leader who seems to have good preparation habits and clearly showcases good decision making skills. Has good zip on the ball, and can threaten the deep areas of the field with his arm strength. Can threaten defenses with his ability as a runner when things break down.
Accuracy. His mechanics and throwing motion all look difficult, like hes constantly thinking about everything. Needs to stop letting pressures turn into sacks, use that strength to be able to create under pressure. His completion percentage isn't horrible but when he misses, he misses badly. Even when making completions he isn't layering the ball in a spot optimal for the receiver to pick up YAC.
Desmond Ridder is a developmental QB that could develop into a starting QB that can play in any scheme with work on his accuracy and ball placement. His leadership, decision making, and competitive nature lead me to believe he can develop into better than what he is now. If forced to start day one, he would fit best in an offense that utilzes his athleticism with designed QB runs, option/RPO plays, and designed rollouts. Mix in these with route concepts that scheme players open rather than relying on a him to have to make top level throws can have him leading a productive NFL offense.
His athleticism is where he shines. His straight line speed is top of the class and it shows up on film, evidenced by a 91 yard TD run in the SMU game. His agility is solid but he is clearly more linear than shifty. Is willing to lower the shoulder ans finish runs strong. His escapability in the pocket isn't as good as I'd like it for someone of his athletic profile, as a lot of his pressures end up as sacks.
Scrambling Ability and
RPO and Play Action
Pocket Mobility/Avoid Pressure
Big Play Ability
Big Play Ability
Touch and Ball Placement
His ball placement is his biggest issue. He simply has to improve at this area in order for me to buy into him as more than a bottom 5 starter at the next level. He makes every throw look difficult, with a long wind up on his throwing motion. He misses throws on every level, leaving a lot of meat on the bone. Needs to see things develop, doesn't throw with anticipation to lead a receiver open. Has good arm strength in regards to air yards as well as velocity. He isn't a bad decision maker, he typically processes what he needs to process and throw the ball to who it needs to go to, just the placement needs to be better. He has low turnover numbers and usually can be counted on to not make those type of errors.
Poise in Pocket
Is a proud leader for his program. His leadership and talent was a major reason as to why the Cincinnati Bearcats were the first ever Group of 5 program to earn a berth to the College Football Playoff. The lack of big games against non Power 5 competition is concerning, only going over 300 yards once in the playoff season. Will stand in and deliver in the face of pressure, but his accuracy is adversely affected significantly, though he does punish blitzes, throing for 17 of his 30 touchdowns against the blitz in 2021.
A good decision maker, doesn't usually throw into traffic or put the ball in danger of being turned over. He knows what hes doing, but he could still play a little faster and learn to trust what he's seeing by throwing with anticipation.