2. Desmond Ridder
With each watch-through of Atlanta’s final four games the feeling that Desmond Ridder is the next franchise quarterback grows stronger. The rookie quarterback improved in each game and though the numbers weren’t impressive made plays against both New Orleans and Baltimore that gave his team a chance to steal a win.
Ridder was thrown into the final four games without his best weapon in Kyle Pitts and very little help at receiver outside of Drake London. Bring in a true second option at receiver and with Kyle Pitts healthy and Ridder will take a huge step forward if the second-year quarterback wins the starting job.
Perhaps due to wanting to see Ridder primarily as a passer the offense failed to use Desmond as a scrambler as they did with Mariota running read options or designed quarterback runs. While Ridder isn’t quite the scrambler Mariota has been throughout his career he is more than capable as a scrambler allowing Smith to run many of the designed plays he had for Mariota but this time with a quarterback capable of making the pass if running room isn’t there.