Welcome to the 20/20 series. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine, we will be profiling 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2019 by giving you 20 facts you must know.
1.) Player name – Riley Ridley
2.) College – Georgia
3.) Height/Weight – 6’2, 200 pounds
4.) Birthdate – 07/21/1996
5.) Class –Junior
6.) Basic college stats – 2016: 12 receptions for 238 yards and two touchdowns, three rushes 41 yards. 2017: 14 receptions for 218 yards and two touchdowns, one rush for five yards. 2018: 43 receptions for 559 yards and nine touchdowns.
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7.) NFL Draft round projection – This draft class is widely considered to have a lot of depth at the wide receiver position. Ridley is one of the more divisive prospects in this draft class and many mock drafts show him going anywhere from the early second round to the end of the fourth. Somewhere in between those two extremes is probably most accurate as I expect Ridley to be drafted in the late second or early third round.
8.) Current NFL comparison – Ridley profiles very similarly to current Buffalo Bills wide receiver Zay Jones. Both are listed at 6’2, 200 pounds and both have sufficient size and speed to be difficult for corners at the NFL level to cover. Don’t let Jones’ disappointing start to his NFL career fool you. He was highly regarded coming out of East Carolina and being compared to him in playing style is not a bad thing. Ridley has shown good hands, with elite speed and separation skills and has the size to remain a top threat in the red zone.
9.) Best possible destination – Several NFL teams could use a wideout with Ridley’s skill set. The best possible destination for him heading into free agency might just be the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees desperately needs another outside threat to free up Michael Thomas and a playmaker like Ridley could do just that. Ridley would gain instant fantasy value as a key member of an elite offense and he could learn from Drew Brees and Michael Thomas to hone his craft. The Saints would have to invest a late second (or trade for a third-round pick) as they currently do not have a pick in the third round of this year’s draft.
10.) Worst possible destination – Listen, I love Lamar Jackson as a fantasy asset, I really do. However, he isn’t likely to help any fantasy wideouts see anywhere near elite production anytime soon. John Harbaugh is a notoriously conservative head coach with an elite power running game and a dual-threat quarterback who is young and still learning the game. Baltimore’s elite defense also keeps most games within a reasonable score and garbage time fantasy points are usually at a minimum. For all these reasons, I think Ridley ending up in Baltimore as a Raven would be his worse possible landing spot.
11.) Best current skill – Ridley’s body control is second to none in this class. He does a fantastic job of adjusting to passes, using his body to shield defenders when necessary and other times, he contorts his body to adjust to passes behind him and makes catches many others couldn’t. Ridley also shows a knack for knowing where he and the sideline are at all times and makes certain to stay inbounds to complete tough receptions.
12.) A skill that needs to be improved – Ridley often is taken down on first contact and has a knack for ducking out of bounds in lieu of fighting for extra yards. Ridley could also use some help run blocking. He was a part of a run-heavy attack at Georgia but showed a surprising lack of polish in the blocking department.
13.) Past/current rookie ADP – With a current ADP of 22, Ridley is going as a late second rounder in standard 12-team rookie drafts. Ridley has gone as early as 11 in recent rookie mock drafts on DLF and as late as 29.
14.) Projected dynasty value – He is currently holding a 166 ADP, making him a late 14th-round selection in startup drafts. This is a fairly cheap price tag for him considering he’s a higher ceiling player. His price in startups does show just how unsure people are of him. Ridley will likely rise or fall depending on combine results and landing spot. I’d expect Ridley to struggle somewhat in the combine drills and he may start losing some value at that point.
15.) Recruiting profile – Ridley was a four-star recruit out of Deerfield Beach Florida and according to 247Sports, was ranked the 47th receiver in his recruiting class. There were several big names programs that sent him offer letters. Among them, were South Carolina, Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia. Initially, Ridley committed to South Carolina before recanting his commitment to attend Georgia.
16.) High school production – 2012: (Primarily as a running back) 36 carries, 297 yards, four rushing touchdowns, four receptions, 54 yards, and one touchdown. 2013: Did not play. 2014: (Primarily at wide receiver) Three rushing attempts, six yards, two rushing touchdowns, 25 receptions, 586 receiving yards and six touchdowns. 2015: 19 receptions, 293 yards, and two touchdowns.
17.) Yes, he is Calvin Ridley’s brother– It’s always fun when a well-known player comes into the league and has some early success. It’s even more fun when we get to see that same player’s younger brother attempt to do the same thing the next year. Riley is Calvin Ridley’s younger brother and the two are very close. These guys normally talk daily and I’m sure Riley will be learning what he can from his big brother after Calvin’s first year in the league.
18.) A.J. Green to thank – Riley Ridley was a recipient of the A.J. Green Family Football Scholarship. In 2015, Green endowed the A.J. Green Family Football Scholarship to provide support for a student-athlete on the UGA football team, as well as the A.J. Green Family Scholarships, earmarked to support two need-based scholarships to UGA students.
19.) Best in the bright lights?– While Ridley didn’t have the best numbers during his time in Georgia, he was often at his best in the biggest games. This was never more evident than his performance in the Championship game against Alabama to end the 2017 season. He hauled in six receptions for 82 yards against the vaunted Alabama defense and looked like he belonged on that field with many other future NFL players.
20.) Route running extraordinaire– Most consider Ridley to be the best route runner in this draft class. Here is a 2918 highlight video of Ridley showing off his elite level route running and other skills.
You can find more game tape and highlight videos on our NFL Draft Prospect Videos page!
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