The Atlanta Falcons are in a period of transition at quarterback.
It remains to be seen if Mariota, a play-caller with previous experience as a starter, will remain as their top quarterback for long.
If he does, the Falcons will be in a position to compete against the best teams in the league.
Otherwise, Desmond Ridder can take his role.
Ridder was drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, 54 spots after Kenny Pickett went to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Regardless of his draft position, he now has the opportunity to prove that he belongs in the NFL.
The Falcons are hoping that he can replicate the success he had with the Cincinnati Bearcats.
In his four years with the squad, he had 810 completions for 10,239 yards and 87 touchdowns.
He also added 28 touchdowns as part of his 2,180 rushing yards.
Those numbers reveal that he can be a versatile quarterback if given a chance to play.
Therefore, it was not a surprise he had a quick 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
But though he has that speed to fly through the field, his teammates at Cincinnati were still pumped up for his performance.
— NFL (@NFL) July 3, 2022
His fellow Bearcats cheered when Ridder ran the 40 in 4.5 seconds.
That’s a fast rate, considering that bigger wide receivers clock in around that time.
Ridder Can Impart Winning Experience To The Falcons
Aside from his physical attributes, Ridder can instill a winning culture in an organization that has lost both of its Super Bowl appearances.
After all, his team was a part of the College Football Playoff, a feat that is difficult to achieve for a school outside the Power Five conferences.
Therefore, the Falcons organization hopes that he will be a game-changer to reverse their recent fortunes.