Discussion in 'Draft Day Zone' started by Hostile, Apr 21, 2005.
Rams select...Dante Ridgeway
WR | (5'11", 212, 4.58) | BALL STATE
Strengths: Explodes out of cuts and runs sharp short-to-intermediate routes. Shows excellent footwork, and is efficient. Reads defenses fairly well and generally does a nice job of settling into the soft spot in zone coverage. Shows good power for his size, is physical and doesn't allow corners to muscle him out of routes. While doesn't have great bulk, uses frame to shield defenders from the ball, is tall enough to compete for jump balls and should develop into a good red zone target. Is capable of catching balls thrown outside frame, rarely drops passes that should catch and has the strong hands to make the tough catch in traffic. Wastes very little motion turning upfield after the catch and has the elusiveness to make the first defender miss. Shows good awareness and works back to the quarterback when the play starts to break down.
Weaknesses: Has adequate but not great size. Doesn't show a second gear when tracking the ball downfield and isn't much of a threat in the vertical passing game. Lacks the breakaway speed to go the distance when gets a seam and isn't much of a threat to turn the short gain into the big play. Is inconsistent as a blocker. Lacks ideal strength at the POA and his effort is "hot and cold" in that area.
Overall: Ridgeway played in 12 games during his freshman year in 2002 and he led the team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving yards per game. He started 11 games in 2003 and his 89 receptions broke the school's single-season record. Ridgeway broke his own record with 104 catches, he led the country in receptions per game (9.55) and he led the country in receiving yards per game (127.18) in 2004. In addition, he finished second in the country in total receiving years (1,399) and he was one of three finalists for the Fred Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the nation's top collegiate receiver. Ridgeway is readier to make the transition to the NFL than most underclassmen, as he has good football intelligence, he runs good routes and he is consistent. However, almost all rookies need time to adjust and Ridgeway's potential is limited by his lack of ideal height and just decent speed. As a result, Ridgeway is nothing more than a polished fourth or fifth round possession receiver prospect that will likely level off as a No. 3 or No. 4 WR in the NFL.
* Player biographies are provided by Scouts Inc.