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Dirty Bird On The Rise: Atlanta QB Desmond Ridder

Desmond Ridder might just be the best value in Superflex. @ReflipeWThenuz breaks down the player and his prospects for your 2023 squads.

There may not be a more polarizing QB in the entire NFL than Atlanta signal caller Desmond Ridder. The former Cincinnati Bearcat was considered a top-level prospect heading into the 2022 NFL draft. Fate intervened, and Ridder suffered a precipitous fall through the first two rounds of the NFL draft before being selected in the third round at pick no.74. He sat for most of the year behind former Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota before getting his chance over the last couple games of the season. It was rough at times, but Ridder did enough to win an audition for franchise signal caller in 2023. Without further ado, let us dive into this unique dynasty asset.


As stated above, Ridder came to the Falcons from the University of Cincinnati. The former 3-star recruit came to the Bearcats out of St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky. After redshirting in his freshman season, he started for four years. During that time, he set numerous school records.

Ridder put Cincinnati on the national radar during his last two seasons at the university. During those years, he won a pair of AAC Conference titles. In 2020, after a 9-1 season, he got Cincinnati into an NY6 Bowl. In 2021 he made history by guiding his school to an undefeated season. They won the AAC, finished the season ranked fourth in the country, and became the first “Group of Five” team to secure a spot in the college football playoff. His numbers and highlights below show that Ridder was indeed a rock star. 

Passing Table
Year School Conf Class Pos G Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 5/17/2023.
Rushing & Receiving Table
Rushing Receiving Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 5/17/2023.

Ridder followed up his excellent college career by blowing the top off of the NFL combine. His athletic testing measurables were off the chart. His 4.52 40 time is one of the best times run by a quarterback. He displayed impressive arm strength and a willingness to compete, which starkly contrasted with fellow athletic prospect Malik Willis. You can find his athletic profile below. 

Rookie Season

After sitting behind Mariotta for most of his rookie season, Head Coach Arthur Smith put Ridder into the starting line-up after the Falcons had been eliminated from the playoffs. Ridder went through some ups and downs on his way to a 2-2 record as a starter. He saved his best for last, going 19 of 30 for 224 yards and a pair of TDs against the division-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

2023 Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons showed great confidence in Ridder by passing on the QB position in the draft. GM Terry Fontenot and crew were in a prime position to move up for one of the top QBs in the draft. They not only passed on moving up but didn’t make a move when Kentucky QB Will Levis fell to them. In fact, instead of selecting his replacement, the Falcons game him arguably the best weapon in the class with RB Bijan Robinson. 

Robinson will team up with sophomore RB Tyler Allgeier, WR Drake London, and TEs Kyle Pitts and Jonnu Smith to give Ridder a quality set of weapons. Mack Hollins and Scott Miller round out the receiver room. I expect the Falcons to run a 12-personnel base formation for their team. The play-action game will provide Ridder multiple opportunities to hit big plays all over the field. Last season, Justin Fields proved you can put up QB1 numbers with very little in the passing game. 

Let me be clear; I do not expect Ridder to put up high-end QB1 numbers as Fields did in 2022. However, I believe it is well within the realm of possibility for the former Cincinnati star to be a high-end QB2 for your Superflex squads. Something in the neighborhood of 3,000 passing yards with 500 or so rushing yards to go along with 25-30 total TDs is well within the realm of possibility. 


Another nice thing about Ridder is that he is extremely affordable for your Superflex squads. Despite being a 24-year-old sophomore QB with a cannon for an arm and 4.52 forty wheels, he can be had for a ham sandwich. Looking at some recent trades in the Dynasty Nerds trade finder, I have found him go for less than a second-round pick and other bottom barrel prices you can see below. 

Final Thoughts

Ridder is one of my favorite upside QB2 plays in Superflex. He has every tool in the bag and the keys to an ascending offense. Arthur Smith will build a run-heavy scheme that uses play-action, allowing Ridder to use his god-given physical tools. The Falcons also possess an above-average offensive line that will help keep Ridder on his feet. Ridder will go into 2023 with his future on the line as he attempts to stake his claim to the top job in Atlanta. Based on his success at every other level he has competed, I would love to take that bet at his extremely affordable price. Please do yourself a favor and snap him up cheaply while you can.  

Thank you for reading this article! Please be sure to join the #Nerdherd, so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing things we offer Use my promo code DynastyHolliday for a 15% off discount. You will get rankings, extra podcasts, and access to our rookie film room. For just a couple of bucks more, you can get access to our revolutionary DynastyGM tool. So much for so little; why miss out on all the fun? Also, you absolutely must check out our new mock draft tool. Find it in your Apple & Android app stores. Follow me @ReflipeWThenuz for more dynasty content and other musings.

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