Desmond Ridder

American football player (born 1999)

American football player
Desmond Ridder
refer to caption
Ridder in 2023
No. 9 – Arizona Cardinals
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1999-08-31) August 31, 1999 (age 24)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:207 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school:St. Xavier
(Louisville, Kentucky)
College:Cincinnati (2017–2021)
NFL draft:2022 / Round: 3 / Pick: 74
Career history
  • Atlanta Falcons (2022–2023)
  • Arizona Cardinals (2024–present)
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2023
Passing attempts:503
Passing completions:322
Completion percentage:64.0%
TD–INT:14–12
Passing yards:3,544
Passer rating:84.1
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Desmond Kelly Ridder (born August 31, 1999) is an American football quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Cincinnati, where he was twice-named AAC Offensive Player of the Year before being selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft.

Early years

Ridder was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to a 15-year-old mother and was raised by his mother and grandmother. He attended Holy Family Parochial before attending St. Xavier High School.[1]

As a senior at St. Xavier, Ridder passed for 1,319 yards and nine touchdowns and also led the Tigers in rushing with 668 yards and 12 touchdowns and was named All-Metro.[2] He was rated as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com and a three-star recruit by 24/7 Sports and committed to play college football at the University of Cincinnati over an offer from Eastern Kentucky.[1] He received his scholarship offer from Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville following a tryout held on the morning of the Kentucky Oaks for offensive coordinator Zac Taylor during his junior year. After Tuberville resigned during his senior year, new coach Luke Fickell honored the offer and Ridder signed his National Letter of Intent.[1]

College career

Ridder redshirted his true freshman season in 2017.[3] He became the Bearcats' starting quarterback as a redshirt freshman in 2018 and passed for 2,445 yards and 20 touchdowns and gained 583 yards rushing along with five touchdowns and was named the American Athletic Conference (AAC) Rookie of the Year.[4][5]

As a redshirt sophomore in 2019, Ridder completed 179 of 325 passes for 2,164 yards and 18 touchdowns against nine interceptions while also rushing for 650 yards and five touchdowns.[6][7] He was named the MVP of the 2020 Birmingham Bowl completing 14-of-24 passes for 95 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing for 105 yards and three touchdowns in a 38–6 victory over Boston College.[8]

The 2020 season proved to be a breakout campaign for the junior quarterback. Ridder was named the Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week and the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback of the Week after completing 13-of-21 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown and also rushing eight times for 179 yards and three touchdowns in a 42–13 win over 16th-ranked SMU on October 24, 2020.[9][10][11][12] At the conclusion of the regular season, Ridder was named the AAC Offensive Player of the Year after passing 2,296 yards, and 19 touchdowns with six interceptions, while also rushing for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns, in only nine games due to the COVID-19-shortened season.[13] Ridder considered declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft, but opted to return for his redshirt senior season.[14]

Ridder with the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2021

In 2021, for the second time in his career, Ridder was named the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback of the Week after the No. 7 Bearcats defeated No. 9 Notre Dame on the road. Ridder went 19-of-32 for 297 yards and two TDs. In addition, he rushed for 26 yards and a game-sealing fourth-quarter touchdown as the Bearcats snapped the Fighting Irish's 26-game home winning streak.[15] Following an unbeaten 12–0 season, Ridder and the Bearcats went into the 2021 American Athletic Conference Football Championship Game ranked number four in the AP Polls, meaning a victory would see them stay in a playoff spot. Following a 35–20 win over the Houston Cougars, they became the first Group of Five team to make the playoffs, as well as the last major undefeated team going into the postseason. Ridder and Cincinnati would fall 27–6 to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the college football playoff semi-finals, finishing his final year in college with 30 passing touchdowns, six rushing touchdowns, and just eight interceptions, in what was the best season in the program's history.

College statistics

Cincinnati Bearcats
Season Games Passing Rushing
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Avg TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD
2017 0 0 Redshirt Redshirted
2018 13 11 9–2 194 311 62.4 2,445 7.9 20 5 146.4 150 572 3.8 5
2019 13 13 11–2 179 325 55.1 2,164 6.7 18 9 123.7 144 650 4.5 5
2020 10 10 9–1 186 281 66.2 2,296 8.2 19 6 152.9 98 592 6.0 12
2021 14 14 13–1 251 387 64.9 3,334 8.6 30 8 158.7 110 355 3.2 6
Career 50 48 42–6 810 1,304 62.1 10,239 7.9 87 28 145.8 501 2,180 4.4 28

Professional career

Pre-draft

After wrapping up an impressive collegiate career at Cincinnati, Ridder was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, where he measured in at 6'3" and 211 lbs., with a 32.75-inch arm span and a 10-inch hand span. With a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, Ridder posted one of the fastest times recorded by a quarterback. At the end of the pre-draft process, most experts had projected Ridder as a first-round to third-round pick. He was rated as the fourth-best quarterback prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft class, after Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, and Matt Corral.[citation needed]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
6 ft 3+38 in
(1.91 m)
211 lb
(96 kg)
32+34 in
(0.83 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.52 s 1.54 s 2.59 s 4.29 s 7.15 s 36.0 in
(0.91 m)
10 ft 7 in
(3.23 m)
19[16]
All values from NFL Combine[17][18]

Atlanta Falcons

2022 season

Ridder at the 2022 NFL Draft

Ridder was drafted in the third round (74th overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.[19] Ridder was considered a surprise fall in the draft, as many analysts had projected him to be drafted in the first round as high as the eighth overall pick. He was just the second quarterback to be selected in the draft, after Kenny Pickett was selected in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.[20]

In his first training camp in the NFL, Ridder competed for the starting quarterback job against veteran Marcus Mariota. On July 28, 2022, head coach Arthur Smith named Mariota as the starting quarterback to open the season, with Ridder serving as the backup.

On December 8, 2022, the Falcons benched Mariota and named Ridder as the starting quarterback for the rest of the season.[21] Ridder made his NFL debut in Week 15 against the New Orleans Saints, where he was 13-of-26 for 97 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions, and 38 rushing yards in the 18–21 loss.[22] In Week 17 against the Arizona Cardinals, Ridder was 19-of-26 for 169 yards in the 20–19 victory, his first career NFL win.[23] In Week 18 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ridder was 19-for-30 for 224 yards and two touchdowns in the 30–17 win.[24]

Ridder finished his rookie season with 708 passing yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, an 86.4 passer rating, and 64 rushing yards.[25]

2023 season

In March 2023, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith announced that Ridder would remain the starting quarterback at the start of the 2023 season.[26]

In Week 8, Ridder was benched at the start of the second half game against the Tennessee Titans, being replaced by Taylor Heinicke.[27] In Week 9, on November 1, head coach Arthur Smith downgraded him on the depth chart after naming Heinicke as the Falcons' new starting quarterback for the game against the Minnesota Vikings.[28] In Week 12, Ridder was renamed as the starter after Heinicke went 0–2.[29]

Arizona Cardinals

After the Falcons signed Kirk Cousins, Ridder was traded to the Arizona Cardinals on March 14, 2024, in exchange for wide receiver Rondale Moore.[30]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Led the league
Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacked Fumbles
GP GS Record Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A Lng TD Int Rtg Att Yds Y/A Lng TD Sck Yds Fum Lost
2022 ATL 4 4 2–2 73 115 63.5 708 6.2 40 2 0 86.4 16 64 4.0 18 0 9 33 3 2
2023 ATL 15 13 6–7 249 388 64.2 2,836 7.3 71 12 12 83.4 53 193 3.6 23 5 31 197 12 7
Career 19 17 8–9 322 503 64.0 3,544 7.0 71 14 12 84.1 69 257 3.7 23 5 40 230 15 9

References

  1. ^ a b c Forde, Pat (November 19, 2020). "Midwestern Revival Tour: Cincinnati". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 19, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  2. ^ Frakes, Jason (August 16, 2016). "All-Metro: St. Xavier QB Desmond Ridder". USA Today High School Sports. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  3. ^ Springer, Scott (March 13, 2019). "Will Desmond Ridder be a four-year starter for UC like QB coach Gino Guidugli?". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on March 13, 2019. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  4. ^ Williams, Justin (October 3, 2018). "How Desmond Ridder won UC's starting quarterback job and sparked the Bearcats' turnaround". The Athletic. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  5. ^ Williams, Justin (August 9, 2019). "Desmond Ridder is still the same. Desmond Ridder has changed". The Athletic. Archived from the original on November 28, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  6. ^ Williams, Justin (September 15, 2020). "Desmond Ridder and the man in the mirror". The Athletic. Archived from the original on September 28, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  7. ^ Goldsmith, Charlie (October 3, 2020). "Where Desmond Ridder stands after Cincinnati Bearcats first month of the season". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Archived from the original on October 29, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  8. ^ Goldberg, Rob (January 2, 2020). "Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati Dominate Boston College in 2020 Birmingham Bowl". Bleacher Report. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  9. ^ "Ridder named Walter Camp FBS Offensive Player of the Week". Local12.com. October 26, 2020. Archived from the original on April 11, 2023. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  10. ^ "Desmond Ridder runs, passes No. 19 Cincinnati past No. 16 SMU". Orlando Sentinel. Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  11. ^ Williams, Justin (October 27, 2020). "How Desmond Ridder ran wild and some defensive 'sorcery' in UC's win over SMU". The Athletic. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  12. ^ Greer, Jarvis (October 29, 2020). "Cincy's Ridder Nation quarterback of the week". WMC Action News 5. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  13. ^ "American Announces 2020 Football Postseason Honors" (Press release). American Athletic Conference. December 15, 2020. Archived from the original on December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  14. ^ Rittenberg, Adam (January 8, 2021). "QB Desmond Ridder returning to Cincinnati for 2021 season". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on April 15, 2021. Retrieved May 26, 2021.
  15. ^ "Cincinnati's Ridder Tabbed Davey O'Brien National Quarterback of the Week". Archived from the original on October 5, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  16. ^ Koons, Zach (April 25, 2022). "Wonderlic Scores for Seven of This Year's Top NFL QB Prospects Are Out". SI.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2022. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  17. ^ "Draft and Combine Prospect Profile". NFL.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  18. ^ "Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati, QB, 2022 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Archived from the original on April 3, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  19. ^ "2022 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved May 20, 2023.
  20. ^ Bair, Scott; McElhaney, Tori (April 29, 2022). "Falcons select QB Desmond Ridder with No. 74 overall 2022 NFL Draft pick". AtlantaFalcons.com. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  21. ^ Shook, Nick (December 8, 2022). "Desmond Ridder to take over as Falcons' starting quarterback; Atlanta to bench Marcus Mariota". NFL.com. Archived from the original on December 11, 2022. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  22. ^ "Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints – December 18th, 2022". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on December 20, 2022. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  23. ^ "Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons – January 1st, 2023". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2023. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  24. ^ "Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons – January 8th, 2023". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  25. ^ "Desmond Ridder 2022 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 4, 2023. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  26. ^ Rothstein, Michael (March 28, 2023). "Falcons officially name Desmond Ridder starting quarterback". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  27. ^ Rothstein, Michael (October 29, 2023). "Falcons' Taylor Heinicke replaces QB Desmond Ridder vs. Titans". Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  28. ^ Gordon, Grant (November 1, 2023). "Falcons QB Taylor Heinicke to start vs. Vikings, Desmond Ridder to serve as backup". NFL.com. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  29. ^ "Falcons to start QB Desmond Ridder for next game vs. Saints". NFL.com. Retrieved November 20, 2023.
  30. ^ Urban, Darren. "Cardinals Trade For Desmond Ridder To Back Up Kyler Murray". AZCardinals.com. Retrieved March 14, 2024.

External links

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