Had they waited until Saturday’s Round 4 to pick a quarterback, we’d have said, “Why bother?” There are exceptions – Tom Brady, taken 199th overall in 2000 – but quarterbacks of worth aren’t often available beyond Round 3. Sure enough, Malik Willis of Liberty and Matt Corral of Mississippi went soon after Ridder. That was it. Days 1 and 2 saw four quarterbacks drafted. Some drafts see that many go in the first hour.
Ridder became the first non-Power 5 quarterback to lead his team to the College Football Playoff. He can throw it. He can run it. Depending on the source, he was a 2- or 3-star recruit, but he started 48 collegiate games, more than Willis and Corral combined. It’s possible Ridder will be starting here before long.
(Much is made of Falcons coach Arthur Smith’s shared history with Mariota. Maybe too much. Smith was the Titans’ offensive coordinator in 2019, when Mariota was benched after six games to make way for Ryan Tannehill.)
The Falcons took two defenders in Round 2. The first – edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie of Penn State – is considered a first-round talent. As he told reporters Friday night: “I’m the doctor of the pass rush.” The second was linebacker Troy Andersen of Montana State. With the Matt Ryan pick in Round 3, they took defensive end DeAngelo Malone of Western Kentucky and Cedar Grove High.
The Day 2 haul: one quarterback plus…