2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Riley Ridley
School: The University of Georgia
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 200 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 2
With every trait in this report, one word could describe Ridley: smooth. In regards to catching the football, the term fits. With effortless transfer and above-average stab, Ridley helps his YAC by rarely bobbling or double catching. As a result, shorter routes will actually pick up decent chunk yardage. More importantly, Ridley’s focus through obstruction like contact is next level. That concentration will pay off at the next level.
Although he does not look like a blazer, Ridley glides down the field with a textbook gait and burst that does not seem to stop. Ridley will streak by a corner and pull away from. Consequently, on crossing routes, while traversing across the field, Ridley picks up second level acceleration that immediately puts defenders on skates.
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When good receivers start their route, regardless of distance or intricacy, Ridley repeats the motion. That is to say, from the first few steps looks like every single route. When facing corners playing off, he will drive them back with strong steps and running them off before sitting down in the vacated area.
First, Ridley’s body control and innate feel for the sideline opens up the throwing window, giving the quarterback room to work. In addition, the nuance of the double move will lead to long touchdowns. Ridley is twitchy enough to get the corner to bit. Once he does, that play will conclude in the endzone. Meanwhile, despite only standing 6’1”, Ridley wins his share of jumpballs.
With Jordy Nelson returning to a lead receiver/mentor role, the Raiders could select Ridley as an apprentice. As the team moves to Vegas and older players fade away, the receiving corps needs an athletic upgrade. Under Nelson, Carr, and Gruden, Ridley would start as a number three wideout with the ability to serve as either a number one or two. The Raiders drafted an inconsistent Amari Cooper that struggled with chemistry and drop. In contrast, Ridley may not enjoy the same stats as Cooper, brings a better field for the situation. The Raiders need receivers, especially young ones that can adapt to a myriad of catch angles.