Why are Falcons so high on Desmond Ridder?

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The Falcons are turning to a third-round pick with four games under his belt in 2023. Desmond Ridder is being handed the keys to one of the better offenses in the league with a better-than-average offensive line and an even better skill position group with Kyle Pitts, Drake London, Tyler Allgeier, and Cordarrelle Patterson.

Ask anyone remotely close to the organization, and they praise Ridder.

“We’ve talked a lot about Desmond and how excited we are about him,” Fontenot said, via the team website. “I know every time we talk to him or reach out to him he’s somewhere working, and that’s who he is as a person.”

Falcons owner Arthur Blank has expressed support for Ridder. “We’re very excited about Desmond Ridder,” Blank said. “I think from the time he came into training camp, he showed great capabilities as a leader amongst the rookies and then amongst the vets.”

Jordan Palmer, who worked with Ridder, believes he could experience a sophomore leap similar to Trevor Lawrence. He “is set up for success,” Palmer said. “I think that’s one of the best staffs in the league. He’s in a position to have a big second year just like I said 12 months ago about Trevor Lawrence.”

NFL insider Jordan Schultz had similar praise. “He’s got plenty of the traits you’d look for in a starter and he’s a great leader. He’s very smart. He’s a winner.”

It’s clear why the Falcons are so high on Desmond Ridder — intangibles.

Nobody compliments his physical ability; that’s why he was a third-round pick. Ridder possesses a plus arm and athleticism, but it’s nothing to write home about. He doesn’t have the rocket arm that Josh Allen has or the mobility of Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray. But that’s not what makes quarterbacks great in this league, and the Falcons seem to recognize that.

“If you don’t have the intangibles, I don’t care how much physical talent you have, it doesn’t matter. Both of those players have the intangibles,” Fontenot said, via the team website. “We know the way they’re going to work, the way they’re going to compete.”

Tom Brady is regarded the as the greatest quarterback of all time because of his ferocious competitiveness, relentless drive to win, and his impeccable leadership. He was the last selection in his draft cycle for a reason; his physical ability was nothing special. It was his intangibles that made him the GOAT.

Now, I’m not comparing Desmond Ridder to Tom Brady by any means, but the reason the Falcons are so high on the Cincinnati product is because of those intangibles.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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