Philadelphia Eagles Prospect Profile: Wide Receiver Riley Ridley

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

As the 2019 NFL Draft inches closer, let’s take a look at Georgia wide receiver Riley Ridley and project how he fits with the Philadelphia Eagles.

There has been talks of the Philadelphia Eagles drafting a wide receiver in the 2019 NFL draft. Just a day before the draft, news broke via Bleacher Report that the Eagles could trade Nelson Agholor and that teams are calling, making the receiver draft selection speculations that much more realistic.

One prospect that could be drafted by Philly in (most likely) the second round is 6-foot-1, 199-pound wide receiver out of Georgia Riley Ridley. The rookie-to-be Riley Ridley is not to be confused with his older brother and former first-round pick Calvin Ridley who played for Alabama and is now on the Atlanta Falcons.

Continuing on with Riley, his college career proved the Ridley name does hold its weight.

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In 2016 as a freshman, Ridley would put up 238 yards on 12 catches with two touchdowns. Although it’s nothing too particular it was a sign of what he could do in the future.

The next year as a sophomore he was able to start in seven games catching 14 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns but really showed up in the national championship game tallying up 82 yards off six catches. Starting 12 games, Ridley stepped up and proved his worth in 2018 leading the team in receptions with 44 gaining 570 yards and scoring nine times.

Scouts look at Ridley and see a very fluid and detailed route runner, a possession, but physical receiver that doesn’t burst out of the gate but lets the engine rev up to race the cornerback down the field. Due to his somewhat slow start off the line, his separation can be tight according to scouts, but he makes up for it by going up and coming out on the winning side of contested catches.

Although Ridley can be viewed as a bit undersized at 199 pounds compared to prospect(s) like N’keal Harry (228 pounds), Ridley makes up for it with the ability to play physical. Still, scouts are concerned with his lack of speed out of the gate and against the press. They also showed worry in his speed down the field and feels he takes too much time to gather himself on comeback routes. To end the negatives, the scouts also found his foot speed to be average on breaking routes and doesn’t present much run after the catch.

Scouts still found upside in Ridley though finding him very competitive and tough with the ability to play through and run through contact. They also feel he’s talented at hiding his breaks and has sure hands with a wide catch radius, great awareness to the ball, and placement on the field. To add-on, they also say he has a smooth leap and in-air body control for high passes with the added bonus of being a determined and physical blocker.

Taking a look a Ridley’s film proves his ability to go up and get contested passes as well as come down with the ball in-bounds along the sidelines. One standout game was when he played against Missouri making multiple contested catches in the air and by the sidelines multiple times throughout the game.

One play that really showed his ability to track the ball and keep field awareness is his touchdown against Vanderbilt where he initially bobbles an up and out pass at the side of the end-zone with a corner right on him, keeping track of the ball on his way down securing it and dragging his heels on the edge of the end-zone for the score.

To really show off his ability Ridley also made a roughly 25 yard over the shoulder touchdown catch in the front corner of the end-zone with a defender right on him against the top-ranked Crimson Tide. Ridley was able to get just enough separation and smoothly cradle the ball and keep his feet in bounds in what was truly an impressive effort.

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Ridley is a high energy receiver that isn’t afraid to be physical and has impressive in field awareness for a young player. With speculations swirling of the Philadelphia Eagles’ drafting a receiver and trade talks with Agholor heating up, Howie Roseman could look Ridley’s way. Ridley would benefit Philly with a solid physical possession receiver that can fight off defenders for the ball and secure tough passes to provide another weapon for Carson Wentz.