Comparing Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder to Russell Wilson
By Nick Halden
The Atlanta Falcons have watched as Desmond Ridder and the franchise have taken heat this off-season for failing to chase Lamar Jackson. A player that is so obviously going to stay in Baltimore a franchise that had no intention of failing to match any offer sent Lamar's way.
Ridder has taken heat this off-season based simply on four games and the fact the second-year player isn't a first-round pick. If Ridder was selected in the first round the respect and coverage the quarterback would be given would be completely different.
One name that has been discussed as one of the few later-round quarterbacks in the last decade to work as a franchise quarterback is Russell Wilson. While Wilson and Ridder are very different players in talent and style it is an interesting comparison when breaking down the first four games from the players this is best done as a blind reveal with one of the following being Wilson and one Ridder. As a reminder, this is only the first four games of both players' careers.
Player A: 685 Passing Yards, 3 Touchdowns, 6 Interceptions, and 74 Rushing Yards
Player B: 708 Passing Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 0 Interceptions, and 64 Rushing Yards
The second and better set of numbers belongs to Desmond Ridder over his first four games. As a reminder, Wilson had the benefit of an elite defense and a generational running back that would help drive the Seahawks to the playoffs that season. A season that Matt Ryan and the Falcons ended.
To take this a step further here are other notable quarterback's numbers in their first four games.
Trevor Lawrence: 873 Passing Yards, 5 Touchdowns, 7 Interceptions, and 82 Rushing Yards
Matt Ryan: 669 Passing Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 2 Interceptions, and 34 Rushing Yards
Deshaun Watson: 811 Passing Yards, 7 Touchdowns, 4 Interceptions, and 148 Rushing Yards
Matthew Stafford: 894 Passing Yards, 3 Touchdowns, 6 Interceptions, and 50 Rushing Yards
Derek Carr 734 Passing Yards, 4 Touchdowns, 4 Interceptions, and 66 Rushing Yards
Ridder's numbers aren't far off from any of these players all of whom were considered top prospects and would-be future franchise quarterbacks. With Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow finding such instant success it is far too often forgotten just how much an outlier both of these players are.
The quarterback position takes time to adjust to and Ridder should be given a fair chance to prove with a full off-season as the starter he can take a step forward. Something all of the quarterbacks listed above had as an advantage not being thrown into the lineup at the end of a lost season.