Desmond Ridder Scouting Report & 2022 NFL Draft Profile
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images. Pictured: Desmond Ridder.
Desmond Ridder NFL Draft Profile
Desmond Ridder NFL Draft Projections
Ridder is an unlikely NFL prospect. As a recruit, he received scholarship offers from just two schools: Eastern Kentucky in the FCS and Cincinnati in the Group of Five.
And he was incredibly lucky even to get the offer from Cincinnati and then to have it honored. He got the offer only after an impromptu, last-minute tryout with then-offensive coordinator Zac Taylor, who recommended him to head coach Tommy Tuberville. When Tuberville was later fired, new HC Luke Fickell chose to honor Ridder’s offer, but it wasn’t a certainty that he would want the former regime’s recruit.
Fortunately for Fickell, Ridder has done well with the Bearcats.
— Cincinnati Bearcats (@GoBEARCATS) December 22, 2020
After redshirting his first year on campus, Ridder won the No. 1 quarterback job as a freshman and has since totaled 34 starts for Cincinnati.
As long as he starts the full 2021 season, Ridder might enter the 2022 NFL draft as the quarterback with the best combination of experience and youth in the class.
- 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Pick No. 9, Panthers
- 2022 Position Big Board: No. 4 QB
- 2022 NFL Draft Big Board: No. 11 Overall
- 2021 Devy Fantasy Rankings: No. 10 QB, No. 62 Overall
Desmond Ridder Scouting Report
- Proven “winner” (for whatever that’s worth) who has guided Bearcats to three consecutive top-25 finishes in the Associated Press poll.
- Careful with the football (just 20 interceptions across three seasons).
- Coming off a career-best passing campaign (8.6 adjusted yards per attempt).
- Strong dual-threat option (4.7 yard per carry, including sacks).
- More of a thrower than a passer.
- Struggles with accuracy downfield.
- Chained to the history of his mediocre recruitment status.
- Will enter the NFL with no years of collegiate eligibility remaining.
Desmond Ridder Stats
- 2020 (10 games): 281-2,296-19-6 passing | 66.2% completion rate
- 2019 (13 games): 325-2,164-18-9 passing | 55.1% completion rate
- 2018 (13 games): 311-2,445-20-5 passing | 62.4% completion rate
- 2020 (10 games): 98-592-12 rushing | 6.0 yards per carry
- 2019 (13 games): 144-650-5 rushing | 4.5 yards per carry
- 2018 (13 games): 149-583-5 rushing | 3.9 yards per carry
Desmond Ridder & Cincinnati Betting Odds
Below are the best odds for various Desmond Ridder and Cincinnati betting markets as of May 20, 2021. Find reviews of the best online sportsbooks here.
- Desmond Ridder to Be No. 1 Pick in 2022 Draft: +2500 at BetMGM
- Desmond Ridder to Win Heisman Trophy: +10000 at William Hill
- Cincinnati to Win National Championship: +15000 at FanDuel
Desmond Ridder & Cincinnati Market Analysis
Not once in the College Football Playoff era has a Group of Five team been chosen as a semifinalist by the selection committee. If it didn’t happen in last year’s pandemic-impacted and randomness-plagued season — when Cincinnati entered the postseason with a perfect 9-0 record — it’s unlikely to happen in 2021.
Cincinnati to win the national championship is as low as +4000 at William Hill, so if you bet on the Bearcats at +15000 at FanDuel you’re getting a good deal of line-shopping value, but you’re still unlikely to realize any actual value because the true probability of Cincinnati winning the title is almost nothing.
But if you’re bullish on the idea that Ridder can be the top pick in 2022, you’re probably best served by betting on him to win the Heisman at +10000, for a couple of reasons.
- Ridder could win the Heisman and still not be the No. 1 pick à la quarterback Lamar Jackson (Louisville) in the 2018 draft.
- Ridder almost certainly won’t be the No. 1 pick without a Heisman-caliber (if not Heisman-winning) 2021 season.
It’s rare for a player outside of a major program to win the Heisman, but it has happened. For instance, quarterbacks Doug Flutie (Boston College) and Ty Detmer (Brigham Young) won the award in 1984 and 1990 even though BC was independent and BYU played in the Western Athletic Conference.
Flutie and Detmer played a long time ago, but Ridder still has hope: Jackson won the Heisman in 2016 — despite Louisville’s failure to make the College Football Playoff, despite his three-star recruitment pedigree and despite his passing inadequacies.
Ridder is highly unlikely to win the Heisman, but it’s not unthinkable for him — as a dual-threat redshirt senior with three years of starting experience — to do in 2021 something approaching what Jackson did five years ago.
I’m not betting on it, but I can imagine it.
Matthew Freedman is 1,051-849-37 (+92.6 units) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.