Route Running - Ridley generally aligned to the right side of the offensive formation. Ridley is a consistent, explosive route runner who creates constant throwing windows. His route running starts with his get-off. When given a free release, he does an excellent job of opening up his strides immediately. This give him natural acceleration and vertical push that makes defensive backs uncomfortable. To go along with his acceleration, his deceleration is equally as impressive. Ridley will stop on a dime, which makes his hitch and curl breaks lethal. His stems have proper pad level, and he will motor down and create an easy throwing window within two steps. Ridley has knowledge and awareness as a route runner, as he will work to stack defensive backs when he gets behind them. There is nuance and his stems and breaks when he's given a free release, and his violent cuts and rocker step will force defensive backs onto their heels. He possesses a certain lateral shiftiness at the line of scrimmage that can limit the jams of defensive backs. In his arsenal is a lethal dead leg release.
Ridley will occasionally lack conviction in his plan and counters when facing press or tight coverage. When he sees an opening, the has all of the tools to consistently defeat press coverage and get into his route. There are too many inconsistencies in his hand fighting technique. Georgia's offense limited his route tree and they consistently called for short to intermediate routes that are difficult to run when pressed.
Athleticism / Speed - Ridley is a a smooth, flexible athlete with length. His best traits are his acceleration and deceleration, and there is a suddenness is his cuts. Long speed is easily above average, though I wouldn't qualify him as a burner on film. He's close to being completely filled out in his frame, but could likely stand to add just a few more pounds of muscle and strength for the NFL.
Hands / Ball Skills - Up until his junior season, Ridley had shaky and inconsistent hands. Through two seasons, he had 7 drops with just 26 receptions. However, through a six game sample of 2018, he had just one drop. Adjustments to different ball placements don't phase him, and he had an added focus on the ball into his hands in 2018. On out breaking routes, he has natural hands, extension and transition into a ball carrier. There are undoubtedly instances where Ridley will allow the ball to come into his body, but he has a general awareness to be extending to the catch point when necessary.
Body Control - Ridley's body control is outstanding, especially along the boundary. He easily flips his hips when rising, extending to the catch point with awareness of his feet and the sideline. Adjusts to back shoulder throws on the outside with ease. On top of his body positioning in the air, Ridley has shown the ability to tight rope the sideline as a ball carrier.
Ball Carrier - Ridley isn't necessarily a dynamic ball carrier or homerun threat, but he offers some juice in this regard. He does an excellent job of limiting his surface area as a ball carrier and operating with a low center of gravity. He will process and likely avoid the initial defender with his ability to drop his pads and remain upright. His dead leg cut as a route runner can be as effective as his releases.
Stalk Blocking - Ridley's effort as a blocker consistently shows up, and he has an understanding of body positioning. He's shown the ability to cut defensive backs in space, cut off defenders who have angles to the inside or flow to defensive backs attacking downhill. He will too often rely on one shoulder hit to stop the charge of defenders, and needs to sink his hips and extend towards them. Occasionally will remain engaged, but he isn't dominant in his grip.
Versatility - Georgia didn't vary Ridley's alignment much in 2018, and he has minimal experience in the return game. However, Ridley has an all-around game as a receiver who can win in each level of the field. He has explosive traits, but also one that could translate into a possession-type role with his soft hands. Though he wasn't asked to play much as a slot receiver, his acceleration when given a free release gives him exciting tools as a seam threat.
BEST TRAIT - Route Running
WORST TRAIT - YAC
RED FLAGS - Arrested for marijuana possession in March of 2017
Ridley is a well-rounded prospect who was held back in college due to offensive scheme and surrounding talent. He easily projects as a better pro player in a passing offense than his production in college. With the tools to play most receiving spots and plus athleticism, he has few weaknesses in his game. Expect Ridley to be a sought after commodity on Day 2 of the NFL Draft because of his enticing tools. Projecting to the next level, his ceiling is that of the main option on a passing offense, but likely not one that will dominate targets. If paired with a legitimate WR1, Ridley will provide a high-end complimentary game as the second option.