NFL Draft 2022: Falcons select Desmond Ridder in shocking quarterback selection

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The Atlanta Falcons selected quarterback Desmond Ridder in the third round with the No. 74 pick overall and was the first quarterback taken on the second day of the 2022 NFL Draft.

The Falcons’ selection of Ridder was one of the biggest shockers on Day 2 of the draft. Experts expected Malik Willis to go in the first round but has dropped far down.

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Desmond Ridder #QB13 of the Cincinnati Bearcats throws during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 03, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Desmond Ridder #QB13 of the Cincinnati Bearcats throws during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 03, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
( Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Ridder was a standout quarterback at Cincinnati and led the Bearcats to an undefeated regular season in 2021 along with an American Athletic Conference championship and a College Football Playoff appearance. It was the first time a school outside the Power 5 Conference made the tournament.

Ridder had 3,334 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes in his final season with the Bearcats. All were career-highs in those categories.

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Alec Pierce #12 and Desmond Ridder #9 of the Cincinnati Bearcats celebrate after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the SMU Mustangs at Nippert Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Alec Pierce #12 and Desmond Ridder #9 of the Cincinnati Bearcats celebrate after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the SMU Mustangs at Nippert Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
(Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Atlanta is in need of a starting quarterback after trading Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason. The Falcons were reportedly close to acquiring Deshaun Watson before the Cleveland Browns swooped in at the last minute to trade for him. The turn of events triggered Ryan’s trade to Indy.

The Falcons signed Marcus Mariota in the offseason. He had been a backup to Derek Carr with the Las Vegas Raiders for the last few seasons. Mariota was a former No. 2 pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2015. He hasn’t started a game since the 2019 season.

Feleipe Franks is the other quarterback on the Falcons’ roster.

FILE - Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) looks to pass from the pocket during the first half of the American Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Houston Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Cincinnati.

FILE – Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder (9) looks to pass from the pocket during the first half of the American Athletic Conference championship NCAA college football game against Houston Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Cincinnati.
(AP Photo/Jeff Dean, File)

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Atlanta made wide receiver Drake London their first-round pick on Thursday night.



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