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Falcons owner Arthur Blank believes team has 'good leader' in QB Desmond Ridder

Draft season is approaching with full force, and franchises aplenty are coveting quarterbacks.

Will the Atlanta Falcons be among those flocking for a franchise signal-caller in the 2023 NFL Draft? That remains to be seen, but owner Arthur Blank is a believer in 2022 pick Desmond Ridder.

"We're committed to the position obviously, and we know we need a good leader there, and I think we have it in Ridder," Blank said Wednesday, via ESPN’s Michael Rothstein.

Late in a frustrating 7-10 Falcons campaign last year, Ridder was thrust into the starting lineup to replace a sputtering Marcus Mariota. The third-round pick out of Cincinnati didn't explode onto the scene, but he showed progression and overall positives.

As a starter, Ridder was 2-2, throwing for 708 yards, no interceptions and two touchdowns, which both came in a Week 18 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ridder's numbers didn't exactly drop jaws, but Blank was impressed and is optimistic for what Year 2 holds.

"We're very excited about Desmond Ridder," Blank said. "I think from the time he came into training camp, he showed great capabilities as a leader amongst the rookies and then amongst the vets."

Whether Ridder is the QB of the future for the Falcons is in the preliminary stages at best.

Whether Blank and Co. are committed to Ridder remains to be seen once free agency and the draft have concluded.

However, Blank is well aware that answering the Atlanta quarterback question isn't the only quandary for the Falcons.

"As good as the quarterback may be, and they're certainly critical part of a winning formula, they can't play by themselves," Blank said. "I mean, there's 21 other players that need to play as well."

With the franchise having moved on from Matt Ryan ahead of last season, Mariota came up short as a bridge QB and Ridder's place with the club is still to be determined. For now, though, he appears to have the owner's belief and confidence.

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