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Falcons sign QB Desmond Ridder, now have entire 2022 draft class under contract

The same day as rookies report, the potential future at quarterback is under contract.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons OTA Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Rookies reported to training camp today, and lo and behold, now the Falcons have every single 2022 NFL Draft pick under contract.

That’s because Desmond Ridder has signed his rookie deal, per multiple reports.

Ridder, a third round pick out of Cincinnati, brings a well-rounded game to the NFL and will be expected to compete for the starting job in July and August. The Falcons have praised his preparation in the early going and clearly, as assistant director of college scouting Dwaune Jones said, “fell in love” with the quarterback in the pre-draft process. The fact that he fell to the third round means he’ll have a bit of an uphill climb to greatness, but Ridder’s talented and at the moment is the only quarterback in-house who figures to get a real shot at a long-term starting role in Atlanta. That would be something of a best-case scenario for the Falcons, who have enough holes on the roster that not having to use a premium pick to get a quality starter would be a victory.

That doesn’t guarantee anything for this year, however. As Kevin Knight notes, Mariota’s relationship with the coaching staff and experience do make him a strong favorite for the starting job at the beginning of 2022, though Ridder will get a fair shot if he excels.

I’m a believer that Ridder can be this team’s long-term option as a starter, though, and that he’ll make starts at some point in 2022. Regardless of how the competition shakes out for this year, it’s great to have Ridder and the entire class under contract, and we’ll get to see whether he can stake his claim to be the team’s next franchise quarterback.