The Falcons selected four players in the 2021 draft and picked up one undrafted free agent that participated in last year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile — Richie Grant, Ta’Quon Graham, Ade Ogundeji, Frank Darby, and Feleipe Franks.
It is no surprise Atlanta’s rookie class comprised mostly of Senior Bowl attendees either. Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot have been consistent in their messaging of the types of players they want to bring in — accountable, intelligent, and tough. Jim Nagy does an exceptional job finding these exact characteristics in those invited.
The week in Alabama has just kicked off, but we already have information regarding some of the players meeting with the Falcons. Kevin Knight, a contributor at the Falcoholic, is on the ground in Mobile giving updates and analysis. I recommend giving him a follow on Twitter if you want to stay informed about all that is happening at the Senior Bowl. Knight reported Wednesday morning that Atlanta has met with Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder.
Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder confirmed to me that he has met with the #Falcons.
Also mentioned that he models his game after Deshaun Watson and Ryan Tannehill, and that one his favorite players is Julio Jones.
— Kevin Knight (@FalcoholicKevin) February 2, 2022
First and foremost, interviews genuinely don’t mean all that much during this time of the year. Falcons fans can expect this regime to do their due diligence on every quarterback prospect, given Smith and Fontenot’s MO of always wanting to acquire good players, regardless of the position.
Quarterback is the single most valuable position in all of sports, so with Matt Ryan‘s future uncertain past this season, it makes sense the team is doing their homework on prospects. Here is Jake Gordon’s spotlight of Ridder:
If there’s any quarterback I like for the Falcons on day two, it’s absolutely Desmond Ridder. I actually liked him for the Falcons last year, but Ridder came back to Cincinnati and had a fantastic season. Ridder has excellent size, mobility, and arm talent. He walked into a College Football Playoff game against Alabama and looked incredibly poised — something that has really sold me on him. Ridder has played well against Notre Dame, Georgia, and Alabama — a big plus for him. His accuracy could still use a little work, and he needs to sit to adjust to NFL competition. He would have that opportunity in Atlanta.