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Desmond Ridder may very well be one of the best match for Panthers if Carolina drafts a quarterback | Sports News



CHARLOTTE — Discovering an NFL mock draft that doesn’t peg both Kenny Pickett or Malik Willis to Carolina is troublesome.

ESPN draft analysts Todd McShay and Jordan Reid each forecast the Panthers will choose Pickett of their most up-to-date predictions. Final week, NFL Community’s Charles Davis mocked Willis to Carolina, making him the primary quarterback chosen. Reid had Willis going No. 2 to the Detroit Lions.

Regardless, the nationwide consensus is that if the Panthers choose a quarterback, it will likely be both Pickett or Willis. However some scouts disagree. One NFL scout, who requested anonymity as a result of he wasn’t approved to talk, advised The Charlotte Observer that they suppose Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder would match greatest in Carolina.

“The Panthers need a Day 1 starter. That’s a large reason why everyone is talking about Kenny (Pickett) landing there because he is the most pro-ready. But Willis has the most upside with his play making and athleticism. The second-most pro-ready quarterback is Ridder. And the second-most athletic quarterback is Ridder. If the Panthers trade back, then he provides both pro readiness and athletic upside later in the draft.”

Ridder — a 6-foot-3 prospect with 4.52 40-yard sprint pace — resembles Marcus Mariota, who the Falcons signed to a two-year, $18.75 million deal after shedding out to Cleveland for Deshaun Watson.

He’s a confirmed winner. Ridder has 43 school wins, third all-time behind school legends Colt McCoy and Kellen Moore. His attention-grabbing 40-yard-dash pace is quicker than Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr and Russell Wilson.

In 2021, he had a superb season main the Bearcats to the School Soccer Playoffs. He handed for 3,384 yards, 30 touchdowns and solely eight interceptions whereas including six dashing touchdowns.

The Panthers hosted Ridder, Matt Corral (Ole Miss) and Willis (Liberty) on Tuesday, in line with a supply with direct data of the scenario. The Panthers will host a number of prospects over the following two weeks. Every staff is allowed to usher in 30 prospects for interviews, physicals and conferences.

Carolina will lean closely on these conferences when figuring out its official draft board, which ought to bode effectively for Ridder. After the mix, a unique NFL scout advised The Observer that Ridder was “blowing teams away” in conferences. The scout mentioned “teams are forgetting he’s the only quarterback available who played in the final four.”

Ridder hasn’t been tied to Carolina as a result of there isn’t a transparent street map for the Panthers to amass him. CBS Sports draft analyst Chris Trapasso ranks Ridder because the No. 3 quarterback behind Willis and Pickett. Trapasso mentioned he wouldn’t be stunned if Ridder is a late first-round or early second-round choice.

Carolina doesn’t have a Spherical 2 choose and No. 6 is simply too excessive to pick out a quarterback who must be out there if the Panthers commerce again.

“He’s a weird prospect in that he tested like one of the most athletic quarterbacks in like combine history. He doesn’t play like that. He isn’t that type,” Trapasso advised The Observer. “The arm strength is pretty good. The accuracy is pretty good. I think he can be a good game manager. He can be an Alex Smith-type with a little bit more upside than that.”

Smith was the No. 1 general choose when San Francisco drafted him No. 1 general in 2005 out of Utah.

Learning Ridder takes persistence. He’s a clean operator at occasions however his footwork will get sloppy, which hinders his intermediate accuracy. Like Trapasso mentioned, he examined like an athletic freak however his foot pace doesn’t constantly present up on tape.

Some scouts imagine he’ll develop into his play making, just like how an athletic however uncooked defensive finish develops right into a refined go rusher.

“Ridder most likely could start Week 1 because of his experience,” Trapasso mentioned. “And he’s again not going to turn the football over a lot. He’ll make some big-time throws for you but not a lot.”

Buying and selling again from No. 6, recouping Day 2 draft capital after which touchdown Ridder may very well be the Panthers’ greatest shot at maximizing their scenario. As a result of regardless of what nationwide mock drafts are saying, scouts and draft analysts are privately rating Ridder over Pickett.

Keep in mind, it’s smokescreen season. It behooves Carolina for different groups to suppose they love Pickett. By gushing about their choose, the Panthers will hopefully drive up the worth for a staff hoping to commerce up. If that occurs then the Carolina would place themselves completely for Ridder.

“With Ridder, you saw this in the last couple of years, especially his senior year, just how smart he is. It seems like he’s always trying to make the best throw possible,” The Athletic’s draft analyst Diante Lee advised The Observer. “I have him at QB No. 2 (behind Willis), but he’s the most polished quarterback coming into the NFL right now.”

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