Will Desmond Ridder Be Drafted In The First Round Of The NFL Draft?

Written By Brett Gibbons on April 22, 2022
Desmond Ridder

Will Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft? We’ll weigh his draft night props and odds against what experts are saying about the quarterback.

Desmond Ridder Draft Odds

Draft Position

Top 32
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-120
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OTB
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OTB
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OTB
First Quarterback
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+1400
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OTB
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+1000
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OTB
Top 10
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+2500
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+1000
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OTB
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OTB
Third overall
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+10000
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OTB
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OTB
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OTB
Second overall
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+13000
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OTB
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OTB
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OTB
First overall
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+13000
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+20000
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+15000
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+20000

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Will Desmond Ridder Be Drafted Round 1?

When it comes to quarterbacks, Liberty’s Malik Willis and Pitt’s Kenny Pickett dominate headlines. They’re the two most speculated players in what most consider to be a weak QB class. The opportunity for Ridder– and those who want to bet on his first-round stock– is that there’s no runaway top QB prospect.

DraftKings Sportsbook currently offers props on the top-32 drafted players, where Ridder is priced at -120. This implies that there is a 54.55% chance that he is drafted in the first round.

Looking at his correlated markets, this checks out in the odds. DK also offers a prop on the number of QBs taken in the first round, 2.5. With the juice O 2.5 (-250), DK is telling us there is a 71.43% chance at least three quarterbacks are taken Day 1. Ridder is +1400 to be the first QB off the board, third on the odds table. In essence, the logic checks out with related markets at DraftKings.

Will we hear Desmond Ridder’s name called on the first day? Some indicators point to possibly. Most notably, Ridder is the lone quarterback prospect that the Seattle Seahawks hosted for a top-30 visit. The Seahawks draft ninth overall, a pick acquired from the Broncos when they traded Russell Wilson, and then again at 40 and 41.

There’s a precedent in the league for teams to draft “traits guys” over more refined pro prospects. Recent examples include both Zach Wilson and Trey Lance being drafted inside the top three in last year’s draft over Mac Jones, who went 15th. Ridder falls into the latter category, with Willis being the “traits guy” this draft cycle. However, Ridder does stand 6′ 3″, much taller than Willis, whose main pitfall in the draft cycle has been his size (6′ 0″).

The tides are shifting: April 22 update

While BetMGM was always the most bullish on Desmond Ridder (having his QB1 odds below 10-1 weeks ago), the odds are moving. At DraftKings Sportsbook, Malik Willis’ strangehold on the QB1 odds dropped slightly from -185 to -150 and Kenny Pickett’s lengthened from +130 to +150.

The culprit? Ridder’s odds dropped from +1400 to +1000. DK now aligns with FanDuel Sportsbook, who also prices him at 10-1. With draft week on the doorstep, watch these prices closely. While not a trendy media story (yet), silently-changing odds are a sign of the winds of change.

What experts are saying

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein grades Ridder out with a 6.36 score. It’s a score that’s near the top of the “will eventually be a plus starter” bucket designated by NFL.com. He notes Ridders’ leadership, collectiveness, and progression, but also notes faults in his deep ball accuracy and average zip on throws. He falls behind Willis, Pickett, and Ole Miss’ Matt Corral on Zierlein’s grades.

The Draft Network slots Ridder as a second-round value, giving him a consensus 82.67 score out of 100. Joe Marino notes his leadership and maturity, as well, but disagrees on Ridders’ noted lack of velocity. However, like other sources, Marino mentions Ridders’ struggles with progression and decision making at times.

According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network (via Cam Mellor), “just about everybody” in NFL front offices have Ridder graded out as a first-round guy.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah omits Desmond Ridder from his top-50 rankings, indicating that he’s at least a late second-round prospect.

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Written by
Brett Gibbons

Brett is an avid sports traveler and former Division-I football recruiter for Bowling Green and Texas State. He’s a graduate of BGSU and works as an auditor for Google content curation products. He’s also contributed to Sports Illustrated and Fansided during his young writing career.

View all posts by Brett Gibbons