Riley Ridley – All Hype or the Real Deal?
As the younger brother of Calvin Ridley, a 2018 NFL first-round pick, Riley Ridley has big footsteps to follow. Riley Ridley played college football at the University of Georgia, the SEC rival to Alabama, his brother’s collegiate team. While Calvin saw excessive college production, Riley found himself with much less. Despite this, Riley Ridley is still being touted as one of the best wide receivers of the draft class. Is he really among the best, or is the family name enough to get him recognition? This, and whether or not the Ravens should draft him, will here be answered.
Here are his combine stats and measurables:
- Height – 6’1″
- Weight – 199 lbs
- Arms – 32 5/8”
- Hands – 10 1/4″
- 40-yard dash – 4.58 s
- Bench press reps – 13 reps
- Vertical jump – 30.5”
- Broad jump – 124.0”
- 3 cone drill – 7.22 s
- 20-yard shuttle – 4.28 s
Riley Ridley is an excellent route runner, and may even be the best in the class. Although the angles the tape provided were limited, the routes that were observable were fantastic. Ridley makes crisp cuts and keeps his routes smooth. He makes great adjustments, and always seems to know where the ball is heading. In addition, Ridley is a reliable catcher. With a 10 1/4″ hand size, Ridley has no problem catching the ball. With properly run routes comes separation, and that is exactly what Riley Ridley sees most of the time. The separation between Ridley and the defensive back gives him an advantage that is critical at the professional level. He is also quick and makes good juke moves after the catch.
Although his top speed, demonstrated by his 4.58 second 40-yard dash time at the combine is decent for a wide receiver, Ridley is slow off the line of scrimmage. In other words, he has low acceleration. This can be a problem for creating separation right away. He will need to have time to progress on his route before creating the most separation possible between himself and the defensive back. He also had little production in college. His best year was his last, but he only accumulated 559 yards in 14 games. That is disappointing, to say the least. Aside from his route running, nothing else really stood out as a great strength. He seemed average in almost every other aspect.
Riley Ridley will be a wild-card pick for whatever team selects him. The Baltimore Ravens, of course, are not a team that can afford to take risky picks at the wide receiver position. The Ravens are in desperate need of a true X receiver, a pass-catcher that can be dependable in nearly every situation. It is difficult to see Riley Ridley as that guy. He has some good aspects but has yet to reach his full potential. He very well could tap into that potential soon, but the Ravens cannot wait long.
Grade – 5.4/10.0 – Fourth round pick.
Should the Ravens draft Riley Ridley?
Riley Ridley is simply not needed on this Ravens roster. Baltimore has guys in Willie Snead and Seth Roberts who are already comparable. That being said, if the Ravens address the wide receiver position early in the draft, and want to add another for depth, Ridley would make sense. Baltimore should spend nothing over a fourth-round pick for him if DeCosta intends to draft him.