NAME: Riley Ridley
POSITION: Wide Receiver
JERSEY: No. 8
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
Riley Ridley has the traits and skill set to be a “X” receiver in the NFL, but because of his lack of top end speed he projects better as a “Z” or “big slot”. What he may lack in speed, he more than makes up in technique and versatility. He has a prototypical size and strength to be a No. 1 WR in the NFL, but is probably best suited to be a position type receiver.
Shows an alpha attitude when the ball is thrown his direction on film. He doesn't wait for the ball to reach him, he goes and attacks it, plucking it out of the air with his strong natural hands. High points the ball in contested catch situations. Possesses outstanding body control to bend and contort to passes thrown outside his frame. Also has outstanding spatial awareness both along the sideline and when defenders are around him.
Runs all routes at full speed and shows the ability to sink his hips to get in and out of his breaks with ease. Solid technique, footwork, and hand fighting ability to beat press coverage. Doesn't have the best separation ability, but understands spacing and how to temper his routes to create favorable throwing windows. Has adequate speed, but isn't considered a burner by any means. Strength, size, and competitive toughness makes him a threat after the catch. Plus blocker in the passing game.
Georgia's heavy run-based offense didn't provide Riley Ridley with a lot of opportunities to showcase what he can do in the passing game. Because of this, there are concerns about his productivity and how his skill set translates to the NFL. Also ran a limited number of routes at Georgia. Needs to develop a more diverse route tree.
Lack of top-end speed will likely keep him from becoming a teams No. 1 receiver, instead he may be regulated to nothing more than a possession WR. Doesn't show a lot of separation ability on film. Can create yards after the catch due to his strength and size, but shouldn't be considered a home run threat. Needs to become more consistent at beating press coverage.
Ridley isn't going to provide much value on special teams. Never returned a kick or punt during his three years at Georgia. Tested like an average to below average receiver at the NFL Combine. Was arrested in 2017 for marijuana possession.
In Riley Ridley, the Dallas Cowboys would be getting a versatile wide receiver who is capable of playing the X, Z, or in the slot in the NFL. With the X position already locked down by Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup locked in as the Z receiver, Ridley could replace Cole Beasley and be the “big slot” WR that is becoming more prominent in the league. Think JuJu Smith-Schuster with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who I believe Ridley compares favorably to.
Coming from a heavy run-based offense, Ridley would fit right in with what the Cowboys ask from their WRs. He possesses the size and strength to be a difference maker as a blocker, which we all know is highly valued in Dallas. He unfortunately doesn't bring much to the table on special teams.
Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore could really get creative as to how he deploys the Cowboys receivers in the passing game because of the versatility all of them have to play each WR position. Cooper, Gallup, and Ridley are all capable of playing on the outside or out of the slot, which really puts defenders at a disadvantage. Opposing defenses wouldn't be able to predetermine route concepts, which would put them on their heels from the get-go.