Last Updated: 2018-01-11
Just days after winning his second national title with the Alabama Crimson Tide, wide receiver Calvin Ridley declared for the 2018 NFL Draft. Ridley, a three-year starter with the Crimson Tide saw his production decrease each season. However, his stock remained as high as ever as the potential No. 1 receiver taken this spring.
Ridley caught 63 passes for 967 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2017. He produced a career-high 15.3 yards per catch with Jalen Hurts at quarterback. During his freshman season, Ridley caught 89 passes for 1,045 yards and 7 touchdowns. He followed that up with a 72-catch 769 yard performance as a sophomore. In all, Ridley caught 19 touchdown passes and added one rushing touchdown during his stint with the Crimson Tide.
During his first two seasons, Ridley was not much of a deep threat with the Crimson Tide. He played more of a possession receiver role, displaying his talent a player with great hands. This season, Ridley became more of a home run threat with the deep ball as the weapon. For example, he caught 7 passes for 82 yards in the season opener against the Florida State Seminoles. However, 53 of those yards came on a touchdown reception in the second quarter.
Instantly, Ridley should be a formidable receiver for any organization that selects him. But, how high will he go in the draft? He’s projected as a the No. 1 or No. 2 wide receiver on many draft profiles. Therefore, many teams in need of some explosive offensive players could use Ridley. Yet, it’s too early to project what team will take him. For example, if the New York Giants don’t feel like they need a quarterback, they could select Ridley in the first round to give Eli Manning more depth at wide receiver. Due to his ability to morph into any role, Ridley certainly will maintain his status as a hot commodity by the time the draft rolls around.
Ridley caught the game-tying touchdown catch in the fourth quarter of the national championship battle with the Georgia Bulldogs. The play came on fourth down with 3:49 left. Eventually, the game went into overtime where the Crimson Tide won 26-23.
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