ESPN Guru: Lions Nab ‘Intriguing’ Quarterback With First-Round Pick

Desmond Ridder

Getty Desmond Ridder fires a pass during the 2022 NFL combine.

Despite the fact they have a player on the roster more than capable of quarterbacking the team, the Detroit Lions continue to get linked with plenty of signal callers during the pre-draft period.

Nearly every quarterback has been tossed around with the Lions, especially at pick 32, the last of the first round. In recent months, names like Matt Corral, Sam Howell and others have been tossed around at the spot. A name that hasn’t entered that mix nearly as much is Desmond Ridder from Cincinnati, but that could be about to change in a big way.

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Ridder is a player who picked up a new first-round projection to Detroit within Todd McShay’s newest mock in an ESPN Insider piece. While McShay had the Lions going with Georgia’s Travon Walker with the second-overall pick, his next selection for the team was a quarterback in Ridder, and it’s a move that he believes could be a good one for a needy team like Detroit at the position.

As for why the Lions may go quarterback, McShay reveals that the team could be enticed by the specter of a fifth-year option at the end of the first round, which comes in huge for quarterback decisions. In terms of Ridder, McShay admitted that his accuracy is an issue which might mean he doesn’t develop as hoped, “but his strong arm, good mobility and high-end ability to read the field make him an intriguing pick to cap off Day 1.”

Intriguing seems to be the name of the game with Ridder, as many believe he is a great player that could do great things in the league, and think he could become a steal in the class. Within McShay’s mock, he pairs them with the Lions this go-round.

Ridder’s College Stats & Highlights

Ridder Was Projected to Land With Lions Months Ago
Though Ridder to Detroit projections aren’t that common, they have happened before. Pro Football Focus and writer Anthony Treash recently made some predictions about how the quarterback carousel will play out this offseason. Perhaps a bit surprisingly, they had the Lions making an entry and landing a player from the 2022 NFL draft class.

Treash projects the Lions will be able to select Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder with their final pick of the first-round. As he explains, Ridder could very well end up as the best quarterback in this particular class, even if evaluators have had mixed reviews about him. Treash writes that Ridder has a good arm, mobility and an ability to make good decisions on the field. As he said, it would be a big win if the Lions could land him at this point of the draft.

Ridder’s talent could make it a lock that he gets drafted reasonably high, but whether or not the Lions are the one to take that gamble remains anyone’s guess. He has a few flaws, but many are willing to look past that and see his overall talent shining through.

Ridder’s College Stats & Highlights

While playing for Cincinnati, it is hard to argue Ridder’s cache as a starting quarterback that could transition well to the NFL in spite of some limitations. He won numerous big games and led his team to the College Football Playoff in 2022. Statistically, Ridder was just as good, putting up 10,239 yards as well as 87 touchdowns in his career. Here’s a look at some of his best plays during his career:

Desmond Ridder || UC Bearcats Quarterback || 2021 HighlightsDesmond Ridder 2021 regular season highlights. 3,000 Passing Yards, 223 Completions, 342 Rushing Yards, 34 Total Touchdowns (1 Receiving TD). Ridder is a projected high rounder in the 2022 NFL Draft. We do not own the copyrights to this footage, it belongs to ESPN, and their affiliates. All things shown in the video also do…2021-11-27T18:43:54Z

Obviously, with a small-school stature, Ridder has a lot to prove at the next level, and some mock drafts have had him being selected in the second-round of the draft. Ridder would probably be a project player for a team like Detroit to develop for the future, but that might be just what they need the most, making him intriguing much like McShay admits.

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