Falcons head coach Arthur Smith has been majorly impressed by rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder, who looks like an inevitable starter.
After trading away Matt Ryan, the Falcons are entering a new era with huge question marks around the quarterback position.
They brought in Marcus Mariota as a presumptive starter but the future likely belongs to a third-round draft pick Desmond Ridder.
The Cincinnati product was the second quarterback taken in the 2022 NFL Draft, though he had to wait until the third round to hear his name called.
A third-round selection certainly doesn’t guarantee a starting job. The way the Falcons are talking about Ridder, it just feels like he’s heading in that direction.
Falcons head coach loves Desmond Ridder’s brain
“He’s light years ahead of most other young quarterbacks from the neck up,” head coach Arthur Smith said per the Associated Press.
Smith highlighted Ridder’s intelligence saying, “Behind the scenes there are things he has done that have impressed me as a rookie.”
Specifically, the rookie quarterback is impressing coaches with his walk-throughs and installations while showing good command.
Ridder’s brain is guiding him through the early part of the offseason but his body will need to be up to the task once training camp gets underway.
“You’re betting on some of the physical things you’ve seen in time to catch up,” Smith said.
Rookies impress during OTAs and minicamps all the time. The true mark of a future start comes later in the process. Still, it should be encouraging to Falcons fans to hear so many good things about their new quarterback’s processing during one of the most mentally strenuous times in their career.