Riley Ridley, WR
School: Georgia | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-2 / 200 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Top 50
NFL Comparison: Calvin Ridley
Riley Ridley’s name may sound familiar; that’s because he’s the younger brother of Atlanta Falcons’ receiver Calvin Ridley, who was a first round pick in 2018. He’s an inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than his older brother, who was in the running for Rookie of the Year early this season before getting eclipsed by the likes of Saquon Barkley and Baker Mayfield. The older Ridley brother still went 64-821-10 in his rookie year, still a very impressive stat line.
Riley doesn’t have the college stats of some other top-ranked receivers, but the talent and bloodline is there. In a run-first Georgia offense, Riley was the go-to receiver this season. His breakout game, though, was in the 2017 CFP Championship game against Alabama — his brother’s team. Calvin has actually gone on the record saying his younger brother might be more talented than him. Regardless, he will be a high pick in the 2019 Draft, in no small part due to the recent success of his brother.
- Touchdown machine — caught a touchdown on 9 of 42 receptions in 2018, a ridiculous 21% touchdown rate
- Good height and bulk for the receiver position
- Nuanced and precise route runner
- Strong hands; showcased he can pluck ball from the air when covered vs. Missouri
- NFL bloodlines; brother Calvin Ridley is a budding star for the Falcons
- Doesn’t have a top-end gear to break away from the defense
- Not as physical or nasty as you’d like; got pretty much erased by LSU’s Greedy Williams
- Lack of opportunity and production in Georgia’s offense — barely over 1,000 career receiving yards
Consecutive plays against LSU, Riley Ridley producing. Adjusts at the catchpoint to beat Greedy Williams, then hits the “Dino” route to create a ton of separation in the middle of the field #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/8xISXqerBd— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) December 25, 2018
Riley Ridley’s “Burst” Corner route. Accelerates our of the vertical cut so well that the DB has to speed turn and still can’t get upfield shoulder. Effortless body control to pluck the ball while remaining inbounds and upright #NFLDraft: pic.twitter.com/6hJPvvHlNu— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) December 25, 2018
My goodness Riley Ridley:— The Mick Nartin™ (@themicknartin) December 26, 2018
Opens his route selling vertical to the outside, gives a hard plant with his inside foot, sinking his hips beautifully. Sudden movements like this are ++++ traits. pic.twitter.com/42k74NMymS
How He’d Fit on the Redskins
There a lot of good receivers in the 2019 Draft, and while I don’t think Ridley is even a top 5 prospect at the position this year, he may be the most ‘sure thing’. That’s mainly because his brother, only a year and a half older than him, is already a successful player in the NFL.
The Redskins have not drafted well when it comes to first round receivers: Josh Docston, barring an unlikely major breakout season in 2019, is the most recent example. Because of this, perhaps Washington’s biggest need is a true “#1” receiver. Ridley may not have the highest ceiling of all wideouts in the draft, but he may be the best option for a team that can’t afford to continue gambling.
I like Ridley’s route running and size most, and legit receiving talent would do wonders for this offense in 2019.