JAKE AND STACY

Heaps: Why Desmond Ridder is best fit of draft QBs for Seahawks

Apr 5, 2022, 12:38 PM
Seahawks Desmond Ridder...
Desmond Ridder of the Cincinnati Bearcats runs for a touchdown against Tulsa Golden Hurricane. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

With Russell Wilson now a member of the Denver Broncos and the 2022 NFL Draft just weeks away, the big question with the Seahawks is what’s next at quarterback.

Salk on NFL Draft: Do QBs Willis, Corral make sense for Seahawks?

Armed with the No. 9 overall selection as well as two early second-round picks, the Seahawks are commonly being seen as a potential landing spot for some of the draft’s top quarterback prospects.

If the Seahawks do decide to select a quarterback early in this year’s draft, who’s the best fit for Seattle? That’s the question Stacy Rost asked former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps during Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Jake and Stacy on Monday.

Heaps first pointed to Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, who’s projected by many to be the first quarterback taken in this month’s draft.

“I really don’t believe that Malik Willis is going to be available. I think Malik Willis, there’s going to be a team in the first eight picks before the Seahawks get there and Malik Willis is going to get picked up by one of those teams,” Heaps said.

But is Willis the best fit for the Seahawks?

“I could see why, talent-wise, they would think that, especially with not having immediate pressure to start him. They could feel comfortable sitting him for a year,” Heaps said. “I think Malik Willis, overall from top to bottom talent-wise fits what they want to be, fits what they want to do, and they believe that they can refine his skill set to where it could be a fit.”

That being said, Heaps doesn’t think Willis is the best fit for the Seahawks in this year’s draft class.

“I personally believe that the guy that is the best fit for the Seahawks in this draft is Desmond Ridder,” Heaps said. “I believe Matt Corral is very high on their board and they really like him, as well. I think it could come down to either Matt Corral or Desmond Ridder (being taken) in the late first round or maybe even the second round. But if I’m picking a guy that I feel comfortable with and that I believe could compete and start for them right away in this competition, I think it’s Desmond Ridder.”

Corral starred for Ole Miss in the SEC while Ridder was the quarterback who led Cincinnati to the College Football Playoff last year, where the Bearcats fell to Alabama in the semifinals.

A four-year starter for Cincinnati, Ridder completed 62.1% of his passes over his career for 10,239 yards with 87 touchdowns to 28 interceptions. He also rushed for 2,180 yards and 28 scores. In 2021 alone, Ridder completed 64.9% of his passes for 3,334 yards, 30 touchdowns and eight interceptions while rushing for 355 yards and six scores. He even caught a touchdown.

So what makes Ridder the best fit for the Seahawks over the 2022 NFL Draft’s other top quarterback prospects?

“Because he’s a winner, first and foremost,” Heaps said. “No. 2, just from the top, he is a great athlete. He ran a 4.52 (40-yard dash) at the combine, so he can automatically help your team just with his legs alone and help bolster your running game that you want to be better at. You can get back to some of those roots of what early Russell Wilson was for this organization.”

As far as Ridder’s passing ability, Heaps said he’s a great fit in that sense as well.

“Last year he threw 30 touchdowns and eight interceptions, so this is a guy that knows how to take care of the football,” Heaps said. “And he can play into the style in which (Seahawks head coach) Pete Carroll wants, which is to be aggressive, which is which is to attack downfield, but also to be friendly with the football and not make boneheaded mistakes.”

Heaps said that’s what makes Ridder a better fit for the Seahawks over Corral, who has “a little wild card in his game” where his decision making is, at times, an area of concern.

When it comes to Ridder, Heaps is interested in whether the Seahawks will be able to draft him if they think he’s the guy.

“I’ll be curious to see where he is at and if the Seahawks even have a chance to select him at the end of the first round or even into the second round,” he said.

Listen to the second hour of Monday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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