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Should Desmond Ridder Start For The Atlanta Falcons? | A to Z With Mark Zinno

Should Desmond Ridder get starting time for the Atlanta Falcons? Mark Zinno discusses why he should on A to Z with Mark Zinno.

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons didn't go with a quarterback at pick No. 8 in the NFL Draft, following the offseason trade of longtime starting quarterback Matt Ryan. But, they may have gotten their guy nearly 70 picks later in the third round with Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder.

Ridder was one of several quarterbacks, including Malik Willis and Matt Corral, who fell way down from round one projections all the way to round three in this year's draft.

That gives the Falcons Marcus Mariota, Ridder and Feleipe Franks on the QB depth chart.

After trading away Matt Ryan, the suspension of Calvin Ridley and other things, it's not expected that the Falcons are going to be contending for the playoffs this upcoming season.

On Tuesday's episode of A to Z with Mark Zinno, part of Locked On Sports Atlanta, Zinno discussed just how much playing time fans should expect and want for rookie QB Desmond Ridder.

Zinno said the calls for Ridder to play are going to come early and often, because the Falcons can’t leave this season without knowing if he can be their starter.

“They have one goal with Desmond Ridder this year and they have to have an answer by the end of the season, and that’s can the kid play? Which means he needs to see live game reps, he needs to see multiple live game reps, he needs to start and play in leverage situations to find out if he can play."

Zinno compared the Ridder situation to Joe Burrow's situation with Cincinnati. Burrow was obviously selected much, much higher at No. 1 overall, but Burrow inherited a team with very little talent offensively and the NFL's worst offensive line. The Bengals had a bad year, but came back with another top five pick, got Ja'Marr Chase and suddenly made it to the Super Bowl.

"They threw Joe Burrow to the wolves, with no offensive line and subpar talent. The Cincinnati Bengals lost games but he made it competitive," Zinno said. "And that’s the big thing, can he make this team competitive. You could tell Burrow could play. What you need to understand is if this guy can’t play, guess what? You need to get another one."

Zinno's show guest, Kevin Knight of The Falcoholic agreed that Ridder will need playing time. And, he said the fact that Ridder dropped all the way to the third round may actually be better for him and the Falcons than if he was a first round selection.

“That’s the things bout the third round pick, it sort of takes the pressure off Ridder, in fact it probably gives him positive pressure in that he’s got the chip on his shoulder now instead of feeling like he has to justify is pick," Knight said. "Now he’s like I have to prove everyone wrong, which I think is a lot better for him.”

The Falcons have a tough schedule this upcoming season, playing everyone in the NFC West and AFC North, two very tough divisions right now. Zinno said it wouldn't be surprising for Ridder to get starting reps at quarterback at some point this season, and that he should, so the Falcons can know everything they need to before next year's draft.

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