Who will be Falcons QB1 in 2023?

Even though they signed Taylor Heinicke, Arthur Smith says they are planning to start Desmond Ridder

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The Atlanta Falcons are one of many teams in the NFL with doubts about the quarterback position. After releasing Marcus Mariota and signing Taylor Heinicke from the Washington Commanders, they still have Desmond Ridder on the roster. So, who will be the Falcons QB1 in 2023?

Well, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith kind of killed the suspense this week. During the NFL Owner’s Meeting, Smith spoke to the press and confirmed that Ridder, 23, will start the season as the starter. “That’s our plan (start Ridder) going forward right now,” said him.

That’s not exactly a surprise for the team or the fans since Ridder played well during the end of last season when he played a few games after the team benched Mariota. But Ridder has only four games of experience in the league, while Heinicke has a lot more experience, including as a starter and even in the playoffs.

Of course, age doesn’t mean quality but experience in the NFL is important. I think it is a good idea to start the season by giving Desmond an opportunity as he showed a lot of potential last season. Even during his college career he always appeared to be an interesting player.

Desmond Ridder

The quarterback had a great college career with the University of Cincinnati. But even with his great numbers, he wasn’t drafted with a top pick. The Atlanta Falcons only selected him in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft, with the no. 74 overall pick. During his rookie season, he was the team’s backup and played the last few games.

His experience in the NFL is only four games played. In those, he totals 73 completions in 115 attempts (63.5%), 708 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. In average numbers, he has great stats so far. Running with the ball he has a problem though. In 16 carries he adds up 64 yards and two fumbles.