Tag Archives: desmond ridder

The Atlanta Falcons Offense Lies In The Hands of Desmond Ridder

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the staircase”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

What does faith mean to you? When does it show itself in your life? When this faith is tested, what do you do? For the Atlanta Falcons, these questions of faith are personified through a spirited third-round quarterback with athletic upside out of the University of Cincinnati. Brace yourself, Falcons fans. The fate of the 2023 Atlanta Falcons offense lies in the 10-inch hands of second-year quarterback, Desmond Ridder.

For some fans, this means nothing more than allowing a young, plucky future franchise quarterback to get reps, so they may grow to evolve into the best version of themselves. They’ve seen how faith in a quarterback’s intangibles and physical gifts has worked for teams such as the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles.

For others, this is the beginning of the end of the Terry Fontenot-Arthur Smith regime, as the belief in the second-year signal caller seems to be misplaced. This is mismanagement at the most important position on the football field and consequences/repercussions will shortly follow. And those consequences will be dire.

Which is the correct take? Only time will tell.

Today, however, we discuss how Fontenot and Smith have shown their belief and built this Falcons offense around Desmond Ridder. And we try to figure out whether or not it will or will not pay off in the long run.

Disclaimer: All statistics were from Pro Football Reference unless otherwise specified.

Photo Credit: Emilee Chinn/AP

Desmond Ridder Holds The Fate Of The Atlanta Falcons In His Hands

Biting The Bullet

Over the last two drafts, Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith have been mimicking Chris Tucker’s character Smokey from Friday. If you got Kool-Aid, there’s no sugar. Peanut butter, no jelly. Ham, no burger. Long story, short, there was not much talent to work with around the quarterback position.

Smith has spent the last two years molding together an offense out of scraps. The WR1 in 2021 was Kyle Pitts. While Pitts is a tight end by name only, he lined up out wide 237 times out of necessity, not creativity.

Smith had to mold two completely different offenses for two quarterbacks who win in different ways. In 2021, Matt Ryan was 11th in the league in Play Action Attempt Rate (Play Action Pass Attempts/Total Pass Attempts) and 12th in Play Action Yardage Rate (Play Action Passing Yards/Total Passing Yards). To contrast, Marcus Mariota ranked 20th and 21st in those categories in 2022. However, Mariota was first in both RPO Attempt Rate and RPO Yardage Rate in his lone season as Atlanta Falcons quarterback. Ryan ranked 25th and 18th, respectively.

Smith was tasked with creating two entirely different offenses based on his quarterback’s strengths and weaknesses. He has not yet got a chance to truly solidify an identity for his offense. That is, until now.

Building Around The Quarterback

This off-season, with both money and draft picks to utilize, the Atlanta Falcons started truly building their identity. They essentially bought a brand-new defense for new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen to mold. Headlined by star acquisitions — that’s right, plural — Jessie Bates and Calais Campbell.

While they were at it, they decided to deal a couple of their late picks to the Patriots and Lions for tight end Jonnu Smith and cornerback Jeff Okudah, respectively. Both coming off of lackluster years and looking to bounce back in pivotal years in their careers.

To cap off the spending spree, they get human highlight reel, Bijan Robinson, in the first round of the draft, while also adding first-round talent, Matthew Bergeron, to help solidify the line in the second round.

Ultimately, this regime has done everything it can to make sure they get a full evaluation of their second-year quarterback. They have surrounded Ridder with plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. Not just that, they have surrounded him with talent that will emphasize the strengths of his game, just like Smith’s scheme did Mariota and Ryan.

How Desmond Ridder Wins

To answer this question, you have to go back to Ridder’s days at the University of Cincinnati. According to Benjamin Solak of The Ringer, Ridder was one of the more accurate passers in the 2021 class and a lot of that has to do with his pre-snap process.

One thing pundits gushed about when it came to Ridder was the command he had over the offense and the freedom he was given by his coaches. He was able to get his guys in the right spots and get them the ball in more advantageous spots so they could show off their skill sets.

Alec Pierce was Ridder’s favorite target, and for good reason. Ridder sometimes struggled with his accuracy. During the pre-draft process, that was the main knock on Ridder’s play. However, with the 6’3″, 213 pound Pierce, it was tough to miss him over the top. Especially on those sideline fades that that offense liked to spam as they got closer to the endzone.

Now, Ridder has 6’5″ Drake London and 6’6″ Kyle Pitts to hit towards the sideline.

One of Ridder’s comparisons coming into the NFL was Alex Smith and I think it came from the standpoint that he just did everything like it needed to be done. There’s not a lot of flash outside of a few scrambles out of the pocket. While Ridder has more than enough athleticism to make the most out of those scrambles, he’d rather sit in the pocket and allow his pass-catchers to beat you downfield.

Which leads me to my last point. Arthur Smith has outfitted this team with not one, not two, but three first-round talents that exist to make the extraordinary out of the ordinary. Most notably the newest addition in Bijan Robinson.

While we should be trying our hardest to make “I-985” a nationwide slogan for the trio of Ridder, London, and Pitts, it is worth noting the impact that Robinson should have on this offense immediately. Having this type of impact as a receiver from the running back position should be unfair.

And we haven’t even discussed Tyler Allgeier or Cordarrelle Patterson’s role in the offense.

Will This Work?

It should. This is very similar to what the Eagles did prior to their historic run last season. It is worth noting that Jalen Hurts had an entire year with Shane Steichen before that run to iron out what worked and what didn’t. Ridder has only had four games with Arthur Smith. So, Atlanta Falcons fans should be looking for this year to be similar to the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles. A team with a veteran defense that keeps them in games as the quarterback and play-caller get on the same page.

That being said, there will be some bumps and bruises along the way. Ridder and Smith will be looking to understand their own strengths and weaknesses as the season goes on. Understanding what route concepts Ridder likes best, and which ones he doesn’t. Finding that balance between RPO/play action and drop-back passes that keep defenses honest.

These are all aspects of the offense that are going to be addressed throughout the season. And at the end of the season, when we close the door on 2023 and look towards 2024, we should have a clear answer at the quarterback position. We will know whether the faith in Desmond Ridder paid off for the Falcons.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder

Atlanta Falcons Can Learn From Super Bowl LVII Quarterbacks

Let’s start this off by saying congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs and their staff. There were a ton of questions coming into this season after the Tyreek Hill trade about the effectiveness of this offense without the “Cheetah”. Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and company quelled all of those questions and ended up holding the Lombardi trophy at the end of it all. But throughout the two weeks that set up Super Bowl LVII, there were some narratives and talking points about these quarterbacks that could easily resonate with the Atlanta Falcons and their fans. Even throughout the game itself, the Atlanta Falcons brass could take a few notes on how to go about the 2023 season and beyond.

How the Atlanta Falcons Can Learn From Super Bowl LVII Quarterbacks

This Is A Quarterback’s League

Throughout this run of dominance for the Kansas City Chiefs, they have had an advantage nobody else has. There is a reason the Chiefs are in any game they play in. If you don’t think that’s the case, look at their stats when trailing by 10+ points and get back to me.

Patrick Mahomes is absurd when his team needs his most

The Chiefs simply have the best marriage between play-caller and quarterback. The Mahomes-Reid pairing has been the best duo since the 20-year stint of Belichick-Brady. Showing that once you have the head coach and quarterback, everything else tends to fall into place.

Looking at the Falcons, the play-caller seems to be in place with Arthur Smith. He’s shown that his offense can be friendly to a quarterback, with the right supporting cast. There’s a reason that Ryan Tannehill saw a resurgence of sorts with Smith and hasn’t looked the same since he left. Now, it’s about finding the quarterback who not only can work in this system, but elevate it.

Is that Desmond Ridder? It’s too early to tell. The first four games of his career were uninspiring, to say the least. But they were four games, with two and a half of them coming against aggressive, attacking defenses. Still, 73 of 115 passes for 708 yards and two touchdowns is not blowing the doors off of anybody in the building in Flowery Branch.

Which leads me to say that anybody advocating for Lamar to come in, I understand the sentiments. When you have the quarterback, especially this young, you can build around him for years to come. There’s not going to be many 26-year-old former MVPs hitting the quarterback market anytime soon. Not to mention that he would make this a top-five offense in the conference when you pair him with Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Tyler Allgeier.

I mean, if Trae likes him…

The Team Has To Work To The Quarterback’s Strength

Going into this game, I thought this was going to be a battle of team-building ideologies. The Philadelphia Eagles built the roster around the quarterback, both offensively and defensively. Plug in second-year Jalen Hurts and task him to prove that he can be the guy going forward.

While the Chiefs put their faith in their special Reid-Mahomes pairing. Build a team that is good enough to compete at the highest level, so long as they have that special pairing at head coach and quarterback.

Essentially, both sides of the Lamar Jackson-Desmond Ridder civil war that Atlanta Falcons fans were debating before the Super Bowl started and probably will continue to debate well into free agency.

Watching this game, both sides are correct. Whether they decide to splurge and spend on Lamar or stay put with Ridder and build the rest of the roster around the quarterback position, the Falcons have placed themselves in a position to compete soon. Side note, Arthur Blank has given his stamp of approval on the young gun from Cincinnati as the starter. We’ll see in the coming weeks how much weight that holds in the final decision.

In both instances, the Falcons brass will have to fill out the other 52 pieces on this roster to bolster what the quarterback does well. Remember, Mahomes finished with fewer than 200 yards. The first Super Bowl winner to do so since Peyton Manning rode off into the sunset in 2016.

His defense stepped up and kept them in the game by stealing a score with a scoop-and-score by Nick Bolton. Not to mention holding this vaunted Eagles offense to 14 points over their last five possessions. Thus, giving their own high-powered offense a chance to win late.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder
Photo Credit: Casey Sykes/Atlanta Falcons

Final Thoughts

The Atlanta Falcons are getting closer and closer to executing their plan. They’ve withstood the barrage of criticism that has come from back-to-back losing seasons to start this regime’s tenure. It’s time to turn it around. The question will remain — at least until this Lamar situation is settled — what is the best way to go about competing this year and beyond?

If we do go the Lamar route, how do we go about fixing this historically awful defense? Can we trust what we have with Desmond Ridder after his first four starts left the fan-base wanting more from the quarterback position?

It’s time for this regime to execute their plan and get back into playoff contention. Atlanta Falcons fans are tired of sitting on the sideline in late January and February, watching others battle it out for the title of “Super Bowl Champion”. It’s time for the Atlanta Falcons to find (or develop) the quarterback who will lead them back to the Super Bowl.

Atlanta Falcons Name Desmond Ridder Starting QB

Atlanta Falcons fans rejoice. Desmond Ridder has been named the new starting QB of the Atlanta Falcons, per multiple sources. This marks the end of the Marcus Mariota era in Atlanta after 13 games. 

Mariota’s 2022 season will end with him going 184/300 (61.3%) with 2,219 passing yards, 15 TDs, and nine interceptions. He also ran 85 times for 438 yards and four touchdowns. 

Falcons QB Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder
Photo Credit: Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Desmond Ridder Named Atlanta Falcons Starting QB

Media pundits and football fans alike were expecting this move after another underwhelming performance from Marcus Mariota, which was to be expected. When Mariota was brought in back in late March, he was not to be the answer to the quarterback position. He was employed to keep the seat warm for whomever might be the answer. Poor play from the rest of the NFC South division has kept Atlanta in playoff contention, despite talent deficiencies throughout the roster. Which kept Marcus Mariota as the starter to keep continuity within the offense.

With the bye week adding extra time for familiarity with the starting role and the Falcons needing a spark going into the more difficult part of their schedule, Arthur Smith decided to input the upstart rookie Desmond Ridder. Can he run this offense just as effectively, if not more, than Mariota? What are his limitations in an NFL setting? What are his strengths?

Falcons fans have been mulling over these questions since being drafted with the 74th pick this year. There will soon be answers to these burning questions, starting with his first start against Atlanta’s fiercest rival: The New Orleans Saints. How will the four-year starter and two-time AAC Player of the Year handle the pressure of one of the most hostile environments for an Atlanta Falcons quarterback? Especially against one of the more highly-touted defenses in the league?

There are so many questions that can be asked about Desmond Ridder. And there are so few answers up to this point — that is a fact. But it is a start to answering the important question: Who is the franchise quarterback of this team?

What This Means For 2022

This move by the Falcons’ brass is a look towards the future of this team, way beyond the finish of this 2022 season. But there is a conversation to be had about what the move to make Desmond Ridder the starting QB of the Atlanta Falcons means for the rest of the 2022 season.

We will start the conversation with this: Temper your expectations for Desmond Ridder.

If you go into these last four games expecting anything other than the typical rookie quarterback struggles, you will be disappointed. There will be flashes of good play, stretches of confusing decisions, and the inevitable “What are you looking at?” throws that come with playing a rookie quarterback. Especially when you look at the teams he will be playing against.

The Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all have top-15 defenses in terms of defensive DVOA. They are top-12 in defensive passing DVOA, mainly due to their ability to get to and rattle quarterbacks. Baltimore and New Orleans have the seventh and 13th best pass rushes in terms of sacks per dropback. Tampa showed in the first matchup that they had no troubles getting to the passer, with five sacks on Mariota.

He may get a break from a struggling Arizona Cardinals defense that is giving up the second-most points-per-game this season. But even then, there may be struggles, as it will only be his third game starting in the NFL.

This transition is going to have its bumps and bruises. The NFL is a faster game, a more physical game than Ridder would have experienced in the AAC. But I do believe that starting him now is giving him the best opportunity that he will ever have to succeed.

The Road Not Taken: The 2022 Atlanta Falcons Quarterbacks

In 1915, acclaimed American poet Robert Frost wrote a poem. It was four stanzas, five lines a piece. This poem intended to mock his friend Edward Thomas, another acclaimed poet, for his indecisive nature on their walks. It turned out to be one of the most influential works of its time due to its trailblazing ideas. I am sure Frost had no intentions for his work to describe anything in the realm of American football. However, when you look at the Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks going into 2022, there are some glaring similarities to the wartime literature piece.

“Poetry is play. I’d even rather have you think of it as a sport. For instance, like football”

Robert Frost

I want to give thanks to the Poetry Foundation and their in-depth analysis of Robert Frost’s work. Their detailed look at the piece helped shed even more light on my article.

Stanza One

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

General manager Terry Fontenot and the rest of the front office were at a crossroads as they entered the 2022 off-season. Do they or do they not hit the reset button for the quarterbacks for the Atlanta Falcons? This would effectively end Matt Ryan’s tenure in Atlanta. An end to 14 years of stability at the quarterback position. Would they have liked to keep Matt and have him mentor the next quarterback of the future? Sure. Matt Ryan is the consummate professional. Over his tenure, he has seen tons of defenses, blitzes, coverages, schemes, and knowledge he could pass down to the next generation of Falcons quarterbacks. But given the current deplorable state of the team, it would not have been fair to keep him while also building towards the future. Ryan deserved to win now, even if it was not in Atlanta. 

Day by day, the front office looked into the Ryan situation. They deliberated to the point of wondering if an extension of the aging quarterback was the correct decision. Give this new regime time to build a team around the long-time franchise centerpiece. But as they looked further, the front office realized they needed to look elsewhere. And just as the yellowing leaves of the alder trees in New England signified the beginnings of autumn, the pursuit of Deshaun Watson signified the end of the Matt Ryan era in Atlanta.

Stanza Two

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

According to American literary critic William Pritchard, Frost showcased how decision-making was not a matter of meditation or choice. On the contrary; decision-making is usually a matter of impulse. And sometimes, as Frost did in the latter part of the stanza, you have to learn that that impulse may not have led to the best results. 

Many in the court of public opinion would call the pursuit of Deshaun Watson an incredibly impulsive decision. As a highly controversial topic with legal implications, I will not go deeper into the subject. However, according to Ryan, this action marked the beginning of the end of his tenure as the quarterback in Atlanta.

Stanza Three

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

Frost examines his decision and realizes the finality of it. As such with all decisions, Frost decides to embrace it wholeheartedly. “Oh, I kept the first for another day!”, a declaration of decisiveness from Frost stating ‘yes, this is the decision I have chosen’ and “I doubted if I should ever come back”. 

There was no coming back. Ryan was gone and shipped out to Indianapolis. Watson had chosen to be a Cleveland Brown. And the Falcons had a void at the quarterback position that they had not seen since the turbulent, roller-coaster season of 2007. They did not have the cap space to bring in one of the top names like Russell Wilson. Not to mention they were void of the talent necessary to attract any other big names in free agency. How would the Falcons decide to fill that void?

Final Stanza

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

The new era for the quarterbacks position for the Atlanta Falcons starts with yet another fork in the road. There is the veteran Marcus Mariota, the former number two overall pick that had underachieved his first go-round with Arthur Smith in Tennessee. Mariota has shown flashes of good quarterback play throughout his seven-year career but has never brought it all together as the franchise quarterback he was expected to be coming out of Oregon in 2014. He has a chance to give his career a resurgence just like Arthur Smith gave to his former teammate: Ryan Tannehill. He has the potential to be the answer in Atlanta. But his inconsistent play, coupled with an inclination for stinger-type injuries, left Atlanta with a sticky situation heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. 

In the third round, at pick 74, the second road was paved for the Atlanta Falcons. Desmond Ridder, the former Cincinnati Bearcat, was drafted as the potential future at the position. As a third-round pick, it may seem that he was no more than a consolation prize in a draft full of mid-round talent. But I believe his lower draft stock is more attributed to Terry Fontenot playing the draft game. Fontenot did not allow his want for a prospect to overweigh the flow and momentum of the draft. But make no mistake, the Falcons loved Desmond Ridder. His intangibles have jumped out to the brass in Atlanta, even impressing head coach Arthur Smith enough to comment on it in a press conference *gasp*.

The beauty of this poem is that the last stanza is not inherently positive. Frost started the stanza by saying that he is “telling this with a sigh”, can that be assumed to be a positive statement? What type of sigh is it? A deep sigh of relief that everything is going to be okay? An exasperated sigh of frustration that the decision has not panned out? Will Mariota be able to keep the job outright? Will Ridder be ready if his name is called week one? Nobody outside of the building in Flowery Branch can say for sure. But one thing is for sure. Somewhere far down the road, wherever this decision takes us, whatever direction these quarterbacks for these Atlanta Falcons takes. Falcons fans will look on this off-season and state that this one decision “has made all the difference”.

The Myth of the Second Round Quarterback

The NFL draft has come and gone, and there were plenty of surprises, notably at the quarterback position. Among them, not a single quarterback was picked in the second round.

After Kenny Pickett was drafted by the Steelers at 20, the next QB didn’t go until 54 picks later, even though there were several who analysts believed were capable of going in round two.

There’s just one small problem: second round quarterbacks don’t exist.

I know it sounds like an odd — or maybe blatantly false — statement, but there is a case to be made. The success rate on round two signal-callers is pretty horrendous, and it all seems to lead to this one conclusion.

In order to come to that conclusion, however, there are a variety of different criteria. First, the types of quarterbacks and draftable skills. Second, the structure, and third, the history of these picks. Those three, when looked at together, bring a pretty shocking revelation that made me conjure up that statement above.

Drafting a Quarterback

Teams who find themselves drafting quarterbacks highly may be in a variety of spots, but there are three that are the most typical:

  1. One of the league’s worst teams, holding a high draft pick.
  2. Middling franchise, looking to make a change.
  3. Top of the league, finding the protégé for an older (on the verge of retirement) leader.

When teams find themselves in any of these positions, they must find the traits they value in a quarterback. Among those are arm talent, rushing ability, composure, ability to read the field, and more. However, there are two categories that those fall into, which, for the sake of the argument are production and potential.

To put it simply, teams judge what a quarterback is right now versus what he could be in a few years.

Scenario one

The top guys usually have a combination of both. Trevor Lawrence, who went number one to the Jaguars last year, combined national championships and Heisman ballot appearances with a 6’6″ frame and a cannon of an arm. Thus, he went to a team that I would place in the first set of criteria. The Jaguars were easily one of the worst teams in the NFL, and thus received a generational talent.

Scenario Two

Those with one of the two traits, however, have a wide range of options. For a team that’s just good enough to be picking outside of the quarterback window, they might be willing to take a chance on a potentially huge swing in their franchises history. Kenny Pickett is a prime example of this. While he doesn’t have the strongest arm or the highest ceiling, his production last season was hard to ignore. The Pittsburgh Steelers, who were 9-7-1 last year, decided that he was worth it at 20.

Kenny Pickett goes 20th overall.

Following that pick, there were other quarterbacks on the board, who, like Pickett, possessed one of the two main traits. Malik Willis, who some suspected may go as high as number two overall, had one of the highest ceilings in the draft, however, if he wasn’t going to go in the first, it seemed he wasn’t getting drafted until later on day 2.

scenario threE

Teams that fall in the third category (such as the Packers in 2020) have a tough decision. While they could take their chances on a high-potential pick like Jordan Love, it makes the most sense to maximize their championship window. Green Bay took that chance in 2020, and passed up elite talent because of it. Now, teams have learned from that mistake, while quarterbacks brunt the blow to their draft position.

Thus, Malik Willis, Matt Corral, Desmond Ridder, and all of the quarterbacks who many expected to go in round one, are now available in the dreaded first half of day two.

The Structure of the Second Round

On the typical draft boards, teams have a wide range of grades on prospects. It’s common to see someone who’s viewed as a top prospect by one team be a day two pick for someone else. Due to this disparity, many “first round talents” fall into the beginning of day two.

These players are quickly scooped up in what makes up roughly 25 percent of the round. This leaves the last 24 picks for guys truly viewed as round two prospects, which doesn’t leave much room for quarterbacks.

If a team would have believed in someone enough to draft them with those first eight picks, it’s unlikely he would have slipped to begin with. Teams rarely risk the opportunity of missing out their guy. This is why it’s common to see teams move up to 32. They guarantee themselves the player they want with an extra year of team control.

Lamar Jackson was drafted 32 overall.

If a team wasn’t willing to take that chance, it’s unlikely they viewed them very highly. That idea is exactly what makes the second round the worst for the quarterback. Would a team take a player who, at the most important position in the sport, they aren’t fully invested in or comfortable with — especially when there is still high-end talent on the board?

The last 24

Once you find your way out of those first eight picks, it becomes time for teams to ask themselves that question. As this draft has shown, the answer has been a resounding “no.” The later picks, which are usually the teams competing for playoff spots, would rather choose someone who can contribute right away. Bubble teams are always looking for their next big acquisition, and their philosophy is that is can come then.

Quarterbacks, as a result, usually fall by the wayside. However, there are some instances where they are picked. The results of which are rather interesting.

Modern History of the Second Round Quarterback

Over the last 20 years, there have been 20 quarterbacks selected in the second round. 20 different times, teams have weighed the ideas of production and potential, and in the last two decades, have determined it’s time to take a quarterback who likely only had one of those traits.

A list of second round quarterback selections of the last 20 years.

Of those, the results are typically a failure of epic proportions. Kellen Clemens, Deshone Kizer, Drew Stanton, Chad Henne, Brian Brohm, John Beck, Jimmy Clausen, and Geno Smith all have more career interceptions than touchdowns, while Christian Hackenberg and Kyle Trask (who’s only in his second season) never played a recorded snap.

The other options aren’t great either. Tavaris Jackson, Brock Osweiler, and Kevin Kolb all showed some flashes, but never lived up to their selection.

Five of the remaining six are polarizing. Jalen Hurts has shown flashes, but fell apart in the playoffs. Drew Lock is still young, but was just traded by the Broncos and has been shaky. Jimmy Garoppolo was able to succeed in the Kyle Shanahan offense, but was just replaced and hasn’t shown an ability to transcend the system. Andy Dalton is a similar story, having rough stints in limited playoff appearances. Lastly, Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to a Super Bowl appearance, but has been out of the league for the better half of the last decade.

This leaves Derek Carr, who, while having only one playoff appearance and zero playoff wins, has safely cemented a spot as the Raiders quarterback for eight years. He has made three Pro Bowls, and has continued to improve. Thus making him the only second round quarterback selected in the last 20 years who can safely be called a hit.

The Bottom Line on the Second Round Quarterback

The 2022 NFL Draft was a prime example of a philosophy at work. After a quarterback goes in the first round, teams have learned from mistakes of the past. Rather than picking signal callers with clear holes in their game in the following round, they’ve gone for contributors at other positions.

Several teams would love to have the next Derek Carr, but with that comes the chance of Brian Brohm or Deshone Kizer. Just like every other selection, the second round has it’s fair share of bust potential. However, it seems that the combination of quarterback traits, draft tendencies, and a simple history lesson will tell you that it simply isn’t the same.

General managers across the league will continue to take swings on quarterbacks, but when doing so, it’s important to look at the most glaring fact:

Second round quarterbacks don’t exist.