Falcons’ third round pick Desmond Ridder dubbed ‘NFL draft steal’

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The Falcons wrapped up the 2022 NFL draft, the second under the new regime, by grabbing several pieces that address positions of need. The team’s first round pick, Drake London, fills arguably the biggest void on the roster — wide receiver. Arnold Ebiketie, who the Falcons traded up for, and DeAngelo Malone bolster the position group that rivals the wideouts for the weakest on the roster — EDGE.

However, there was an obvious need at quarterback too. Even though the Falcons quickly signed Marcus Mariota after trading away Matt Ryan, the former Heisman Trophy winner was clearly signed as the team’s stopgap starter until Atlanta finds the future at the position, which they might have over the weekend when Terry Fontenot selected Desmond Ridder in the third round Saturday night.

The former Cincinnati signal caller was one of the more pro-ready prospects in this class but could still use some polish — hence the third-round selection. However, the 74th overall pick on a potential franchise quarterback is quite the bargain if Ridder can develop into a refined product. This has prompted many, including Arif Hasan of The Athletic, to label the draft pick as a ‘steal.’

Another bonus for quarterbacks is in play here, but this might have made the list regardless given that the Falcons gained about 40 slots of value here. The real issue is not whether all these teams were smart to grab these well-regarded quarterbacks late but why so many people liked this quarterback class enough to rank them so highly in the first place. But the board doesn’t do post-draft adjustments like that, so it trusts that the quarterbacks were fairly evaluated.



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