Desmond Ridder is a four year starter in Cincinnati, amassing a pile of individual school passing records while he was at it. However, it wasn’t until 2021 that Ridder looked like the game was slowing down for him. His coaches spoke about his ability to pull things together when the game doesn’t start right, something that came on this year after Ridder became a father. He entered Cincinnati as a 178-pound freshman in 2017 and transformed into a professionally built quarterback. 

The Measurables

Desmond Ridder

HT: 6033
WT: 211
WING: 7900
ARM: 3268
HAND: 1000
DOB: 8/31/1999
Year: Redshirt Senior
High School: St. Xavier (Louisville, KY)
HS Rating: 3 star (0.8180)
Phil Steele: PS#114

Combine Workout
40: 4.52
VJ: 36.0
BJ: 10-7
SS: 4.29
3C: 7.15

Desmond Ridder Complete Scouting Report

Arm strength stands out on tape almost immediately. Has a good arm. Pushes the ball downfield with more than ample velocity. Good strength to really stretch the field. Shows the ability to throw with touch in the moments that he needs to. Very compact release motion. Ridder doesn’t waste a lot of movement. Has a low release point that will get knocked down sometimes.

Accuracy is a big concern for Ridder. Very much a box accurate quarterback. Very inconsistent with his placement. I’m not sure what mechanical issue is driving that other than he just doesn’t have the ability. Placement is very inconsistent and very much off. Struggles when under pressure. Often his placement is off by little increments. Not by much.

Quarterback Mechanics

Ridder positions himself fairly well in the pocket. Moves to space and doesn’t take many sacks from poor positioning. I don’t think Ridder uses the pocket very well. He would much rather roll out and make something happen outside, relying on his athleticism. Once the pressure gets there, I’d like to consistently see him get away from pass rushers. Showed some improvement in 2021 at working in the pocket and getting the throw out while trusting his offensive line, especially against Notre Dame.

Not the most consistent feet, but he does consistently angle himself to the throw. Has worked to improve that this year. Showed a more consistent plant base but still could use work on getting it to the proper angle. Very quick feet. Sets rapidly.

Ridder is very athletic and moves well outside of the pocket. That being said, Ridder generally doesn’t throw well while on the move. Dangerous runner when moving downfield. Has great quickness and solid speed. Ran the fastest quarterback forty in recent memory at the Combine. Has a special improv ability to work with his teammates and find them when the play is out of structure. Ridder does what he can to keep the play alive, but isn’t particularly adept at working the play out of structure.

Football Intelligence

Flashes some very intelligent reads, finding the holes in the defense. Appears to retain knowledge quickly and well. Generally makes good pre-snap reads. Oftentimes pre-determines the throw during the pre-snap. That will be a problem at the next level. Excellent media presence. Talked a lot about how becoming a father has tempered him to roll with punches better than before. Certainly appeared more composed and self-confident in 2021.

Consistently has stayed healthy outside of some knicks and bruises throughout his career. I think that Desmond Ridder is very much on the same wave length in his career arc as Jalen Hurts was at this point. We’ve seen the steady progression throughout his career improving as a passer and being able to handle more of the playbook. I think that will continue. He has some lower base issues to work out so that his accuracy will get better, and once that happens he could be a solid mid-tier starting quarterback in the NFL.

Overall Grade
Quarterback: 76

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By John Vogel

NFL Draft Analyst. Dad.

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