Report: Desmond Ridder Told Team He Plans to Beat Out Veteran QB, Start as Rookie

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 5, 2022

Quarterback Desmond Ridder throws a pass in a football drill during Cincinnati Pro Day in Cincinnati, Thursday, March 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)
AP Photo/Aaron Doster

Even if Desmond Ridder isn't a high pick in the 2022 NFL draft, he has confidence that he will start as a rookie.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback told this to a team in a predraft interview:

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Desmond Ridder is a name that’s buzzing in league circles. During team interviews, the QB made clear he plans to beat out a veteran in camp. <br><br>That, and Malik Willis’ first-round positioning, from <a href="https://twitter.com/SportsCenter?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SportsCenter</a> <a href="https://t.co/Tb6aMGwWsz">pic.twitter.com/Tb6aMGwWsz</a>

"I talked to a team who interviewed Ridder, who said that he had a plan outlined for how he was going to beat out a veteran in a training camp setting and become a starter in this league year one," Fowler reported.

Fowler added a league executive believed picks 24-38 could be a "sweet spot" for Ridder to be selected. 

Bleacher Report's Scouting Department lists Ridder as the top quarterback prospect in the class and No. 16 overall. Some scouts might favor the upside of Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett, but Ridder's experience has plenty of value.

The Kentucky native became a starter as a redshirt freshman at Cincinnati and kept the role for four seasons, winning 44 games during his career. He led the team to a 13-1 record as a senior, including a trip to the College Football Playoff.

The quarterback also impressed on an individual level with 10,239 career passing yards and 87 touchdowns, including 30 passing scores in 2021. 

The success could give Ridder the confidence to win a starting job early in his NFL career, regardless of where he lands.

He will look to follow in the footsteps of the five different rookies who made at least 10 starts in 2021, including third-round pick Davis Mills.