The Chicago Bears didn’t have a desperate need at wide receiver entering the 2019 NFL Draft, which is a refreshing change compared to some recent years. And yet, the team decided to add to their collection of pass-catchers by drafting Georgia standout Riley Ridley.
Let’s meet him!
THE PICK (ROUND 4, PICK 126)
- Name: Riley Ridley
- College: Georgia
- Position: Wide receiver
- Age: 21
- Height, weight, hand size, arms: 6-foot-1, 199 pounds, 10-1/4 inches, 32-5/8 inches
NEED TO KNOW
- 2018 stats: 14 games, 43 catches, 559 yards, 9 touchdowns
- Career stats: 28 games, 69 catches, 1,015 yards, 13 touchdowns; 4 rushes, 46 yards
- Family ties: His brother, Calvin, was a first-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 2018.
- 40-yard dash: 4.58 seconds
- Bench press: 13
- Vertical: 30.5 inches
- Broad jump: 124.0 inches
- 3-cone drill: 7.22 seconds
- 20-yard shuttle: 4.28 seconds
- Route-running excellence. Ridley is a renowned route-runner, which is a plus in Matt Nagy’s offense. Precision is key and getting to a spot where a quarterback can find you in a quick and efficient manner can go a long way. Ridley isn’t much of a deep threat, but he has a bit of wiggle in his game that allows him to create separation and his instincts tend to guide him into open areas.
- Excellent hands. Ridley has a knack for catching everything thrown in his general direction. And much like having sharp route-running abilities is a good thing, catching the ball after getting open is pretty important, too. If his college production is any indication of what is to come at the next level, then it shouldn’t take long for Ridley to earn Mitch Trubisky’s trust when he is out there.
- Superb pedigree. You might as well get used to hearing this because it won’t be the last time it comes up – Riley’s brother, Calvin, was a first-round pick in 2018. But that’s not the only reason he has a noteworthy prospect pedigree. Riley Ridley was a four-star recruit by ESPN when he was coming out of high school and checked in as their 239th best high school prospect on the ESPN 300 big board. From there, Ridley showed he can hang with the best of ’em by playing (and excelling) at Georgia against SEC competition.
- Top-end speed lacking. Unlike his brother, Calvin, Riley doesn’t have top-end speed. If he did, Ridley probably wouldn’t have lasted into the fourth round. But that’s OK, his timed 4.58-second 40-yard time hints at the fact that there is enough juice to be a productive NFL player.
- Doesn’t possess quick-bursts. Ridley’s athleticism doesn’t jump off the screen, and it shows when he doesn’t flash with quick bursts in space. He also hasn’t shown to have the type of breakaway speed scouts and fans drool over in the pre-draft process. But what he lacks in raw speed, he makes up with the route-running and football IQ. Again, if Ridley had every tool in the tool box, he would have been off the board long ago.
- Size could allow for him to be jammed by more physical cornerbacks. At 6-1 and 199 pounds, Ridley isn’t super small. But there is a certain type of cornerback who can take him out of his game at the line of scrimmage. And because speed isn’t his thing, separation can be an issue. Improving his technique at the point of attack could help mitigate concerns in this area.
NFL.COM COMPARISON: James Jones.
PFF SCOUTING REPORT