The Atlanta Falcons get the perfect quarterback for them right now in former Cincinnati star Desmond Ridder.
Though Atlanta could have conceivably taken a quarterback with their first pick of the draft at No. 8 overall, they waited until their fourth pick of the weekend to get the perfect signal-caller for them this offseason. Ridder patterns his game after Tennessee Titans starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who flourished during his first two seasons in Nashville running Arthur Smith’s offense.
With former Titans starter Marcus Mariota signing with the Dirty Birds in his free agency, Ridder can back up the former Heisman Trophy winner as a rookie and possibly push him for playing time in a rebuilding season for Atlanta. For as controversial as it was for the Falcons to take USC wide receiver Drake London No. 8 overall on Thursday night, Atlanta is in better spirts 24 hours later.
For the first time in years, the Falcons, dare I say it, actually have a direction and an identity.
Desmond Ridder is the perfect quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons right now
The plan for the Falcons in terms of roster construction is to get cheap free agents on prove-it deals hoping they can get the next Cordarrelle Patterson. As far as the draft is concerned, they are looking for athletes above all else. London is a big-bodied wide receiver. Arnold Ebiketie and Troy Andersen are very athletic in the front-seven. As for Ridder, he is every bit the dual-threat passer.
It is not level of competition that will keep Ridder sidelined for long; it is all about putting him in positions to succeed as a passer. Ridder oozes leadership and has all those necessary traits to be a franchise quarterback one day. He may not be the most talented signal-caller to hear his named called in recent drafts, but if he is as good as Tannehill is, then Atlanta has found something good.
This is one of those picks with little risk and high reward. If Ridder does not become the guy, then Atlanta can draft a quarterback either next year or any that follow. Should he hit as a third-rounder, then the Falcons could have their guy on a very cheap contract for the next four seasons. Keep in mind why they traded Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts. He was eating up too much cap.
The Falcons may only win a few games, but this rebuilding process now has a direction and a face.