Falcons: Why Desmond Ridder will be the NFC South's best QB in 2023

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The NFC South has undergone a lot of changes in the past few years. Gone are the days of Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, and whoever the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would run out there on any given Sunday prior to Tom Brady. And with that, gone is Tom Brady.

Also Read: Three Falcons who have been disrespected this offseason.

The NFC South now consists of Desmond Ridder, Derek Carr, Bryce Young or Andy Dalton, and Baker Mayfield or possibly Kyle Trask. There is reason to believe that Ridder will end up being the best of them all—and the cheapest.

Why Atlanta Falcons QB Desmond Ridder will prove to be the best NFC South QB

The NFC South sure seems like it will be among the weakest divisions in the NFL, and much of that has to do with the quarterback situations. While Desmond Ridder hasn't proven to be a franchise quarterback yet, he has the potential to be and has a good shot at becoming the division's best quarterback.

Why is that the case? Well, let's break it down, starting with Desmond Ridder's argument over the Buccaneers' squad of passers.

Desmond Ridder vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers QBs

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are projected to start Baker Mayfield after signing him to a reasonable contract in free agency. They also have former second-round pick Kyle Trask who could push for the starting job.

Starting with Mayfield, while he might be a former first-overall pick, that doesn't mean he is going to be good—Falcons fans know that better than anyone after watching former second-overall pick Marcus Mariota for most of 2022. Mayfield has been a disappointment ever since he had a solid first season in Cleveland.

Mayfield is on his fourth team in less than a year. If you show potential in the NFL at QB, you are not going to bounce around that much. Not to mention, look at the contract he signed, it doesn't exactly look like teams were valuing him in free agency.

Then for Kyle Trask, he has thrown nine passes in two seasons, completing just three of them for 23 yards. I don't really need to say anything else.

Desmond Ridder vs. the Carolina Panthers QBs

The NFL is not kind to rookie quarterbacks. The step up from college to the pros often takes a year to figure out which is why Bryce Young might not be what the Panthers are hoping for from the get-go. Sure, Bryce is coming from Alabama and the SEC, but most players playing in that conference don't end up making it to the NFL. The NFL is all the best players combined into one while college is where players develop and are split between many, many teams.

This is even assuming Bryce Young starts. Recently, the Panthers stated that Andy Dalton is the starter, which isn't something we should be buying quite yet. Either way, Ridder could easily be better than whoever starts at QB for the Panthers.

And before anyone brings up the fact that Dalton beat Ridder last year, that was Ridder's first start in a hostile environment after watching from the sidelines for 14 weeks. Not to mention, if Drake London doesn't fumble on fourth down late in the game, we might be talking about how RIdder is undefeated against Andy Dalton.

All told, while Desmond Ridder wasn't even close to being as sought after coming out of college, Ridder has experience in the NFL while Young doesn't.

Desmond Ridder vs. the New Orleans Saints QBs

This is the one that will likely spark a lot of controversy but there is reason to believe that Desmond Ridder can be better than Derek Carr.

First of all, Desmond Ridder has more experience in his respective offensive scheme than Derek Carr. Ridder will be able to spend this whole offseason working to get better instead of learning the playbook, scheme, terminology, and getting on the same page with his offensive coordinator. Derek Carr might be a veteran but Ridder has a head start going into 2023.

Second, Derek Carr didn't exactly light it up last year. He is coming off of an average season in which he actually had a lower completion percentage than Desmond Ridder. Carr also threw 14 interceptions in 15 games and averaged less than 250 yards per game despite throwing to Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow with Josh Jacobs in the backfield. In total, he only broke 300 passing yards twice and never had more than 307 in one game. Carr had two games where he threw three interceptions and two where he threw two interceptions.

Then look what happened after he got benched, Jarrett Stidham, his backup, came in and threw for almost 400 yards and three touchdowns against a 49ers' defense that was viewed as the best in the league. So, yeah, Stidham in his first start against perhaps the best defense in the league shattered Carr's season high in passing yards, and tied for the season high in passing touchdowns. Carr also only had two games with a higher completion percentage than Stidham did in that game. It isn't exactly a good look for the veteran QB who now plays for New Orleans.

Then there is Jameis Winston who could probably find a way to throw more interceptions while sitting on the bench than Desmond Ridder would starting the whole season.

Overall, there is reason to believe that Desmond Ridder can be the best quarterback in the division in 2023. When you figure that the Atlanta Falcons should have the top running game in the league, that will only help Ridder set himself apart in the NFC South division.

Next. 4 Falcons who must breakout for a Super Bowl run. dark