The New Orleans Saints need a quarterback in the offseason. Some might think that retaining Jameis Winston is absolutely going to happen but there are no guarantees in sports, especially when money is waved in a player’s face.
If the Saints want to completely start over at the quarterback position, the draft is where they’ll need to turn. They were recently linked to Cincinnati signal-caller, Desmond Ridder, which hasn’t happened much honestly.
Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus had New Orleans grabbing Ridder with the No. 18 overall pick in his mock draft. Here’s what Gayle had to say:
"In an interview on Tailgate last week, analyst Nate Tice made his case for why Cincinnati signal-caller Desmond Ridder should be the first quarterback taken in April’s draft. Ridder turned in a career year in the Bearcats’ playoff run in 2021, finishing the season with a 90.7 PFF grade. He had never cleared 80.0 in any season prior.The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder possesses excellent mobility and above-average arm talent for the position, but he is coveted for much more beyond his physical tools. He’s proven to be a quick processor with experience operating an offense while consistently working through his progressions, rarely relying on just his first read."
Would Desmond Ridder make sense with the Saints?
Ridder helped lead the Bearcats to their first-ever College Football Playoff appearance and was terrific for his squad all season long. He finished his senior season throwing for 3,334 yards, 30 touchdowns, and eight interceptions while rushing for 355 yards and six touchdowns. The season before he rushed for a whopping 12 touchdowns!
Sean Payton could cook up a lot of fun plays with Ridder as his quarterback and it’s hard to deny how fun this pairing would be to watch. At the same time, Ridder probably isn’t someone ready to step into a starting role from Day 1. That could be where re-signing Winston and letting him start while Ridder learns on the sideline comes into play.
Taysom Hill could end up missing all of 2022 due to his Lisfranc injury, Ian Book struggled in his lone start, and Winston and Trevor Siemian are both free agents. Unless New Orleans goes out and lands a big name like Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson, the draft might be their best bet.
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Desmond Ridder hasn’t been considered a first-round prospect much in recent months but he could pack a serious punch in this offense.