3 NFL rookies that caused a quarterback controversy in the preseason

NFL rookies, Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons - Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
NFL rookies, Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons - Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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NFL rookies
NFL rookies, Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

NFL rookies causing a QB controversy: Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons

Scouting Report. 44. player. Pick Analysis. QB. Falcons. Desmond Ridder. 3

We’ve pretty clearly established that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans have strong rookies waiting in the wings. Both Kenny Pickett and Malik Willis showed the kind of play in the preseason — both in different ways — that could ultimately lead them to a starting role at some point down the line.

Perhaps Kenny Pickett’s time will come a little sooner than Willis’ will, but that all depends.

Another one of the NFL rookies at the quarterback position that might actually be making some noise as a serious contender to take someone’s starting job within the first couple of weeks of the season, though, is Atlanta Falcons rookie Desmond Ridder.

Ridder was outstanding throughout the NFL preseason in 2022 and made a huge impression with big throws to every level of the field as well as his tremendous athleticism and speed.

The only unfortunate thing for Ridder? Marcus Mariota also showed quite well throughout the preseason.

Looking back at his time with Cincinnati, it’s hard to believe Ridder lasted to the third round of the NFL. When you look at the qualities that NFL teams seem to love in college quarterbacks, there are few things that Ridder lacks. Nobody is a finished product coming from the college level, but Ridder certainly has the athleticism, big arm, and college experience that NFL teams usually like.

When he fell to the third round, I think pretty much everybody was shocked based on some of the late hype he received in the pre-draft process. The Falcons don’t have the most enviable quarterback situation in the entire NFL right now but both Mariota and Ridder have arm talent and athleticism to at least keep things interesting.

As regular season games get going, it will be interesting to see how short the Falcons’ leash is for Mariota with how well Ridder played in preseason games.