Our NFL rookie profile series continues with this analysis of 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Riley Ridley, WR from Georgia. You can also check out all of our NFL Draft Prospect articles here. We will continue to provide you with these in-depth rookie profiles and a ton of other fantasy football rookie analysis right up through the NFL Draft. Stay tuned, and stay ahead of your league!
The 2019 NFL draft class is filled with productive and athletic wide receivers. Riley Ridley doesn’t really fall into either category. He does, however, have a brother named Calvin Ridley who was a first-round draft pick in 2018 and had a successful rookie season.
It seems unlikely the younger Ridley will reproduce his brother’s early NFL success, but let’s take a look at his profile.
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Stats from sports-reference.com.
As you can see, Ridley wasn’t very productive at any point in his college career. While he did jump from only 14 receptions in 2017 (eight games) to 43 in 2018 (14 games), it was also his only full season as a pro.
Ridley’s production is propped up by nine touchdowns in his final season at Georgia, but as we all know, touchdowns are the most volatile stat and unpredictable year to year, let alone projectable from the SEC to the NFL.
Let’s take a look at some film with Matt Waldman, one of the best in the business at evaluating talent.
While you aren’t going to see a bunch of splashy, athletic plays from Riley Ridley, what you will see is a wide receiver who possesses multiple moves to gain the release off the line and use subtleties in his route running to create separation in the intermediate areas of the field, especially on slants and comebacks.
Toughness at the catch point and the ability to stay on his feet through contact is also evident at times. Ridley shows good hand positioning and the flexibility to adjust to balls thrown behind him on crossing routes without losing much momentum.
Ridley doesn’t offer much in terms of after-the-catch ability but could be effective as a possession receiver from the slot at the next level if he goes to the right offense.
Taking a look at MockDraftable’s always-excellent spider graph, we can see that Ridley was mostly average across the board, but a few numbers stand out.
On the positive side, he has large hands at 10.25” which puts him in the 93rd percentile at the position. On the negative side, he managed just fifth percentile in the vertical jump which typically indicates a lack of explosion out of breaks for a wide receiver. Ridley’s three-cone drill in the eighth-percentile was equally disappointing, indicating a lack of agility.
Despite the relatively mediocre athletic testing results, he compares favorably to JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington, and Jordy Nelson, so it’s possible his athletic ability won’t be a limitation in the NFL.
- March Rookie ADP: WR13, 29th overall (3.05)
- March Startup ADP: WR80,186th overall (15.6)
As of March 17th, Riley Ridley had not been involved in any trades on MFL.
Because of the strength of the 2019 wide receiver class, I think Ridley would have benefitted going back for his senior year at Georgia.
In a class filled with incredible athletes, Ridley just doesn’t measure up in that regard. On film, he doesn’t do enough to make up for his athletic shortcomings and I think he will struggle in the NFL against better competition. Add in a poor production profile and there’s just not much to get excited about with Ridley as anything more than an early third-round flyer in rookie drafts.
If he goes to the right offense that will use him purely as a possession receiver from the slot, he could offer some PPR value to fantasy owners.
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