Falcons select their potential quarterback of the future with third-round pick

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While some expected as many as five quarterbacks to be selected in the first two rounds, only one actually was — Kenny Pickett, who was taken 20th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The next one wasn’t taken until pick 74, and it was the Falcons that called his name.

The Falcons were always expected to take a quarterback at some point in this draft; it was just a question of when. Ridder has been linked to Atlanta since the beginning of the draft process, and Jake Gordon had him as his third-ranked quarterback in the class. 

3. Desmond Ridder — Cincinnati

I find myself torn on Desmond Ridder at times. Before he came back to Cincinnati for his senior season, I wanted the Falcons to take a crack at him in the 2021 Draft. He shows good leadership, solid arm strength, and good mobility outside of the pocket. One thing that really impressed me was his play against elite competition. Even in South Bend against Notre Dame and Alabama in the College Football Playoff, Ridder didn’t look like the moment was too big for him. I like his makeup, and I think he’s going to make an NFL Franchise very happy. I don’t know if I would start Ridder from day one, but I wouldn’t do that to any rookie quarterback.

Like all of the quarterbacks in this class, Ridder could probably use a year or two to groom behind a veteran quarterback, and the Falcons have the perfect stopgap quarterback in place for him to do so. I still fully expect Marcus Mariota to be the starting quarterback come Week 1, but the plan has to be for Ridder to take over the reigns at some point over the next two seasons.

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