6 players the Atlanta Falcons could have drafted instead of Desmond Ridder

The Atlanta Falcons drafted Desmond Ridder in the third round and he didn't even make it to his third year before getting traded. Here are six players the team could have drafted instead.

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints
Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints / Chris Graythen/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Falcons thought they had an eventual franchise quarterback when they drafted Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati.

After sitting behind Marcus Mariota for much of his rookie season, Ridder finally saw game action as he took over as the starter coming out of the team's week 14 bye. He improved in each of the four games he played and it resulted in him getting the starting job going into year two.

While he had some good moments, things fell apart. He struggled with turnovers and ended up getting benched for Taylor Heinicke at halftime in Tennessee. Ridder would then take the job back after Heinicke was injured in Arizona.

It was a mess for the Falcons and they knew they had to make a splash at the position. They did that by signing Kirk Cousins and they quickly shipped Desmond Ridder to the desert in exchange for the speedy receiver.

Ridder trade

It was a good return for a player who had seemingly lost any trade value.

However, we cannot overlook what is now a bad selection by Terry Fontenot in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. There were so many other players they could have drafted who would still have a role going into 2024.