NAME: Riley Ridley
POSITION: Wide Receiver
JERSEY: No. 8
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 200 lbs
PROS: Listed size and weight are ideal for an X-receiver. Snatches the ball outside his frame with a big catch radius and strong hands. Back shoulder grab vs Missouri was everything you wanted to see in terms of body control and ability to adjust off-target. Showed a willingness to be physical in his releases and as a blocker. Gets after corners in the run game and shows good technique.
Routes are still developing, but came to life against Alabama with some good IQ vs zone coverages. Found space and sat down quickly. One deep out from a stacked release was extremely well run, coming back to the ball with a zone corner closing over the top. Good burst out of his routes breaks. Ability to change direction suddenly for a big receiver will be a desirable trait.
Very few opportunities to make contested grabs, but the flashes of playing to his size/length are there. The brother of Falcons’ wide receiver Calvin Ridley, which you’ll hear about ad nauseam in the place of real analysis if Riley does anything this season, so I just put this here to prepare you.
CONS: Usage and production still extremely limited last season. Caught just 14 passes for 218 yards in 2017, and just 12 catches in 2016. Will need to make strides in the finer points of his game to put a much larger sample size on tape as a junior, considering the addition of Demetris Robertson to a cast that already returns starters Terry Godwin and Mecole Hardman.
Still relatively unrefined in releases vs press coverage, needs to learn to use his hands better at line of scrimmage to create early separation. There is enough uncertainty in his routes at times to understand why he didn’t see the field much until the end of the year. Long speed appears to be a concern, not the most vertically threatening receiver. Offers nothing of note after the catch.