3 Reasonable expectations for Desmond Ridder after the 2023 NFL draft
By Nick Halden
3. Ridder wins 11 games in his first season as a starter
With Atlanta's schedule now clear and very favorable there is no question the basement for this team is 8-9 wins while the expectation should be winning 11-12 games. If Ridder is anything close to capable this team is going to win double-digit games and make the playoffs.
Atlanta isn't going to get an easier road to the playoffs either within their own division or in the schedule. If Ridder cannot consistently help Atlanta win games in the first half of this season it is obvious he isn't the guy. With Taylor Heinicke on the bench and a roster of playoff expectations if Desmond doesn't quickly prove himself capable it wouldn't be at all shocking to see Atlanta turn to the backup.
However, this is worst-case scenario for the Falcons, reasonable projections based on this offense and Ridder's talent has the second-year quarterback piling up wins while having to do very little.
Playing quarterback is never easy but in this year's offense, it won't get any simpler for a player who appears very capable of running Arthur Smith's system at a high level.