4. Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati (46th overall)
Some of my most trusted draft analysts have Desmond Ridder as their top quarterback in the class, and I can see why. He runs more of a pro-style offense than most of the top quarterbacks this year, he’s got good size, and he maneuvers well within the pocket.
It’s also hard to argue against Ridder’s outstanding college success (43-6 as a starter at Cincinnati). Though there is other NFL talent on his team, he helped the Bearcats to the best four-year stretch in franchise history, and this best single season in franchise history in 2021.
While I love that Ridder already goes through progressions and plays like a veteran, I also think he might be more maxed out than the three names ahead of him on this list. Ridder has a decent arm by NFL standards, but his arm strength and velocity aren’t going to wow you at the next level. In addition, his accuracy (even from a clean pocket) is wild at times, and there’s no guarantee it will improve.
However, if you are looking for a QB who can come in and manage the game (a la Ryan Tannehill) Ridder is a quality option with a pretty high floor. He might have more upside than I give him credit for, but I don’t know if it’s ever enough to be a top-10 quarterback in the NFL.