You can cross Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder off your 2021 NFL draft rankings, as the athletic and strong-armed passer is returning to the Bearcats for the 2021 season, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel.
“One of my main goals, when I came to Cincinnati, was to leave this place better than when I got here,” Ridder said. “This was obviously a tough decision, but I really have a chance to do that.”
Ridder started 10 games in 2020 and finished the year completing 66.2% of his passes for 2,296 yards, 19 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He added 592 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.
The decision to return to school is a good one for Ridder. While he certainly would’ve been drafted had he declared this year, he’s behind the likes of Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Mac Jones, Trey Lance, and Kyle Trask at the outset of draft season. The best-case scenario was likely a late-Day-2, early-Day-3 landing spot.
Now, Ridder has a chance to be one of the most sought-after quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL draft with another year of seasoning and tape. His baseline skill set is already appealing; add another year of film and development, and his stock will only go up.