The Falcons seemed to have done much better in Terry Fontenot’s second draft as the team’s general manager than in the first. Atlanta filled many of the team’s biggest needs. They landed one of the best receivers in the draft with their first round, then solidified the future at pass rusher and quarterback on Day 2.
On most accounts, the national media praised the Falcons for their work in last month’s draft. Jim Nagy complimented Atlanta’s Senior Bowl selections, which isn’t necessarily surprising given his status as the event’s executive director. However, there have been others who are less biased.
Focus on professional football was very fond of the Falcons draft; Ted Nguyen from Athleticism had Drake London and Desmond Ridder as two of his favorite schemes of the entire 2022 draft class, and Jordan Palm Tree says more of the same.
Palmer did not have the illustrious career that his brother Carson Palmer did in the NFL, but he’s exponentially better as a teacher than as a player. Palmer is the founder of QB Summit, which quickly became one of football’s hottest private coaches. Ironically, he worked with Ridder and London during their last two prom years and had nothing but good things to say about the two rookies.
“One hundred percent,” Palmer told Josh Kendall to Athleticism. “I love Drake London as an NFL wide receiver, his catching radius, (his ability to) come up and get it. You create other places to throw. This guy may look covered, but he’s not if I throw him here. This fits very well with what Desmond did in college.
“It’s the way Drake plays 7 feet off the ground, it’s the wingspan, it’s also the jumping ability, the hand-eye coordination and his ability to adjust, those things, those are easy throws for any quarterback to make,” Palmer continued. “Drake’s ability to get up there and catch it, catch the ball away from his body, catch the ball in traffic, is the first thing that jumps out at me.”
Palmer’s praise continued with Ridder as well.
“He’s a real competitor, not (only) in football but in everything he does,” noted Palmer. “Not everyone is like that. Not all of these guys are like that. There’s a lot of quarterbacks who will be in football-related competitions, but they’re not eating that healthy, they’re not that disciplined with their training schedule or their sleep or their recovery or whatever their vices are.They pick and choose what they want to be competitive in. Then there are guys who are competitive in all areas of their life. Like (Ridder) wants to be the best dad ever. It’s every stage of his life. That’s the first thing I noticed.
“When you get someone who is that competitive, he’s going to improve a lot because as long as you show him what he can improve and how he can improve it, that’s kind of it. They’re going to do it. take it and do it,” said Palm. “I’ve worked with Desmond for almost two years, and he’s very quick at what we do. He’s not interested in doing half of anything.
When your friends say nice things about you, it might not come across as authentic because of their relationship. however, Palmer’s statements seem to come from a place of truth. We won’t know how good this draft class is for a few years, but everyone seems to be high on the Falcons’ rookie crop, so that’s encouraging.
Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire