Baker Mayfield replacement No. 2: Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
The city of Cincinnati had a good football year. The Cincinnati Bengals are in the Super Bowl. The University of Cincinnati played the ultimate Cinderella story making it into the Bowl Championship Series playoffs. Both teams were a tale of their quarterback.
Desmond Ridder is exactly what the Browns need in a quarterback. He is intelligent. He will change plays at the line of scrimmage. He recognizes defenses and understands what they are trying to do to him. He understands his offense and what the schemes are attempting to accomplish against defense. This is the most important trait for a quarterback.
He also possesses the physical traits needed to play in the NFL as well. He has a strong arm. He is a true mobile quarterback. He looks to play within his scheme before breaking down to run. But when he runs, he has the speed to compete at the NFL level.
On the negative side, Ridder needs to work on his ball placement. His accuracy needs to improve. But now accuracy issues coming into the NFL is no longer the deal breaker it used to be. He will not always recognize what the defense is doing to him. Although he does this better than most.
Ridder would be a great fit in the outside zone system. He has the football intelligence to know what his offense is trying to accomplish. He sees the field well and distributes the ball to multiple options. He is athletic enough to be true dual threat quarterback. But he runs the offense first and makes plays with his feet second.
Ridder may go in the first round. But if he is available in the second, the Browns should draft him with the intent of making him a backup. He has a lot to learn in the NFL and could develop into a starter. But the next guy on the list should be starting on a team day one.