Draft Breakdown: Riley Ridley

By Thomas Ringgaard |
Draft Breakdown: Riley Ridley

Riley Ridley, Wide receiver, Georgia

Conference: SEC

Measurables: 6'2, 200 lbs

Career stats: 

2016: 12 catches, 238 yards, 2 TDs
2017: 14 catches, 218 yards, 2 TDs
2018: 43 catches, 559 yards, 9 TDs

Strengths:

  • Route running: Riley is probably the best route runner in this year's draft. He combines a quick get-off, natural explosive cuts, quick feet, and an amazing burst after the cut to create separation. Watching the film, he hasn't been targeted on every aspect of the route tree.  But, taking a closer look, he gets separation on just about every route he was asked to run. At the point of breaking the route he makes bending the hips, using the arms, and quick feet look so natural.  And, as he is a natural at making the DB turn his hips with excellent moves (e.g. nod with the head, quick shoulder turn). Has shown lethal skills on double moves.
  • Hands: Very natural "hands catcher."  Soft hands, makes tough catches look easy. High points the ball beautifully with good leap ability. 
  • Athlete: Elite agility and quickness. Has unbelievable balance after the catch. His quickness allows him to be very versatile and has played slot and outside without losing a beat on either position. Would contribute naturally to special teams, especially as a PR.

 

  • Competitor: While Riley might not be the biggest guy, he surely doesn't run out of bounds if there are yards to be had by running through the defender. At the point of catch he competes well for position and shades the DB from the ball. 

Weaknesses:

  • Production: At first glimpse, you would naturally go, "How does a player with such low production become a top draft consideration?" Here are my 3 reasons for Ridley's production:
    • 1) Georgia is a run-first and run-heavy offense.  Which makes sense when in the last two seasons you had Swift, Chubb, Michel, Holyfield, and Herrien. In 2017, Georgia averaged 176YPG passing and 258YPG rushing.  And, in 2018 had 226YPG passing and 236YPG rushing.
    • 2) Jake Fromm is..... not a WR-friendly QB.
    • 3) Played against top college programs in the SEC, which naturally comes with tougher defenses. 
  • Blocking: Horrible. The one area where Ridley has a lot of work to do. He doesn't break down on point of contact, doesn't get his hands on the defender, but usually just launches forward with his head down hoping to make a big block.  
  • Was caught in 2017 with marijuana possession. 

Conclusion:

  • Final Thoughts: Riley is an elite athlete who runs smooth routes and catches tough balls naturally. Some scouts question his production, but after watching his tape it really shouldn't scare teams away.
  • Grade: 2nd round
  • Pro comparison: This one is easy. Built like Calvin.  Plays like Calvin.  In the family with Calvin.

 

Thanks for reading.  Let us know in the comments below what you think about Riley Ridley.  Tell us where you think he'll get drafted.


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