According to The MMQB’s Albert Breer, the Indianapolis Colts took a short trip across I-74 to visit Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder and wideout Alec Pierce among other highly touted Bearcats’ prospects:
Source: The Colts made the short drive today to visit and work out Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder and a number of Bearcats receivers in Ohio. Interesting one, given that Indy’s already moved up in the second round.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 15, 2022
The Colts’ first pick is 42nd overall.
The Colts will pick with the 42nd overall pick, so it’s possible that Ridder, who’s also a potential late first round selection, could be available at that spot, if he slides a bit—as well as Pierce, who’s projected to go right around that range or in early Round 3.
Regarding Ridder, the 6’4”, 215 pound senior quarterback completed 251 of 377 pass attempts (64.9%) for 3,334 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions during 14 starts in 2021—en route to earning AAC Offensive Player of the Year honors (for a consecutive season) and leading the Bearcats to the 2022 College Football Playoff.
As a dual-threat at quarterback, Ridder is well regarded for his arm strength, athleticism, and competitiveness, but struggles at times with his accuracy and ball placement:
Desmond Ridder is a QB prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.8 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 18 out of 831 QB from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/xc4lrKVVko #RAS via @Mathbomb pic.twitter.com/XT9Ylcjc9P— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 4, 2022
In time, Ridder’s selection would allow for head coach Frank Reich to run his ideal offense featuring a run-heavy approach with All-Pro Jonathan Taylor, featuring RPOs, play-action, and the occasional bootleg from the starting quarterback position—as a further complement.
He would also be able to be groomed behind veteran starting quarterback Matt Ryan for two seasons before fully taking over the reins ahead of the 2024 NFL season, meaning he would have time to still grow and develop as a passer—without being thrown immediately into the fire.
Another senior prospect that should pique the interest of the Colts is Ridder’s favorite target, Alec Pierce, who caught 52 receptions for 884 receiving yards (17.0 ypr. avg.) and 8 touchdown receptions during 14 starts in 2021—as he was awarded Second-Team All-AAC honors.
At 6’3”, 211 pounds, with a 4.41 forty time, Pierce has the ideal size-speed combo, who plays as a big, physical vertical wideout—with considerable toughness, but needs to continue to improve his route running and doesn’t always separate as well as he tests.
Like Ridder, he’s another fantastic Bearcats’ athlete:
Alec Pierce is a WR prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored a 9.8 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 53 out of 2613 WR from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/cQXuHGwMZp #RAS pic.twitter.com/Fwczn6fBHx— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 23, 2022
He would provide an ideal ‘Z’ wideout to help stretch the field on the other side of Michael Pittman Jr. and keep opposing defenses honest from stacking the box against Taylor.
It makes sense why the Colts took the time to get an extra look at both Ridder and/or Pierce.
While Ridder will draw the majority of national headlines here though, Pierce might actually be the sneakier play for the Colts—as he fills a much more immediate need and should be able to contribute from the get-go as a potential starting WR2.