It’s hard to read what the Atlanta Falcons thought of quarterback Desmond Ridder during the 2022 NFL Draft.
If they wanted him badly, the Falcons could have taken him off the board earlier.
Instead, the franchise took wide receiver Drake London, linebacker Arnold Ebiketie, and Troy Andersen.
Eventually, the former Cincinnati standout heard his name called in the third round, 73 picks after top overall selection Travon Walker.
But after two preseason games, the Falcons might have struck gold with Ridder.
His performance against the New York Jets alone is worth pointing out.
Desmond Ridder continued his impressive preseason campaign against the Jets 👀
• 143 YDS
• 112.0 RTG pic.twitter.com/rh7UCgqV43
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) August 23, 2022
Against the AFC East squad, Ridder completed 10 of 13 pass attempts for 143 yards and a 112 passer rating.
The momentum is still on his side after finishing with 10 passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns against the Detroit Lions.
However, he has split the two games with a win over the Lions.
He will have a chance to get another preseason victory versus the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 27.
Falcons In An Uphill Battle
Ridder panning out is the best scenario the Falcons are hoping for.
While they are still banking on the success of Marcus Mariota, Ridder’s emergence gives them a fallback if Mariota struggles.
If Ridder continues at this pace, he could help the Falcons hold their ground against the tougher squads in their division.
There’s the New Orleans Saints with quarterback Jameis Winston and a number of targets on offense.
Defeating those squads could put the Falcons in a position for a playoff berth.
It’s a place they haven’t been to since 2017, a year after they lost in Super Bowl LI to the New England Patriots.