Indianapolis Colts Potentially Scouting Perfect Matt Ryan Replacement

The Indianapolis Colts addressed a pressing need this offseason by acquiring Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons. The 2016 NFL MVP will almost certainly be an improvement over Carson Wentz, and he will give them a chance to win now rather than just in a few years.

However, Indy’s future is still a significant issue. Ryan turns 37 next month. How much more gas does he have left in the tank? Will the Colts just have him for a few seasons and then be in a position similar to the one they were in the last three years?

It looks like Indianapolis is trying to be proactive in that regard, potentially scouting Ryan’s replacement: Desmond Ridder.

The Indianapolis Colts reportedly watched Desmond Ridder work out

Former Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder, who recently worked out for the Indianapolis Colts.
Desmond Ridder of the Cincinnati Bearcats throws the ball against the Tulane Green Wave on Oct. 30, 2021. | Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

According to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Colts drove to Cincinnati and visited/worked out Bearcats quarterback Desmond Ridder on April 15. They also spent time with multiple UC wide receivers.

Ridder’s draft stock has skyrocketed in recent months, so it’s hard to tell if he would slide to Indy’s first selection at No. 42. However — if he does — he would be the perfect replacement for Matt Ryan in a few seasons.

Ridder is a hard worker. He improved his accuracy significantly at Cincinnati and went from just being a game manager in his first couple of seasons to a star quarterback during his final year. He won games for the Bearcats’ College Football Playoff team in 2021, rather than just doing enough to keep his squad from losing.

The Louisville native is also an athlete. He regularly made throws from outside of the pocket at UC and ran for over 2,000 yards during his college career. His athleticism, combined with an excellent football IQ, gives him nearly unlimited potential.

Will he be an excellent NFL starter right off the bat? Probably not. The jump from college to the pros is massive. However, if Ridder can sit under a former MVP in Ryan for a few years before starting, he certainly has the tools to become a winning NFL quarterback.

Perhaps the Colts, though, weren’t just focused on Ridder during their workout.

Alec Pierce would be a great addition to the Colts

While Indianapolis needs to prepare for a future without Matt Ryan, it is also trying to win now. And the team desperately needs another wide receiver. Michael Pittman Jr. had a breakout season in 2021, but he was the only Colts pass-catcher to gain over 400 yards.

That’s where Ridder’s former receiver Alec Pierce could come in.

Pierce has the combination of size and athleticism that any NFL team should want. He stands at 6 feet, 3 inches, and weighs 213 pounds, but he runs a 4.41 40-yard dash. His tools helped him catch 52 passes for 884 yards and eight touchdowns at Cincy last year.

So, will the Colts try to find Matt Ryan’s replacement by selecting someone like Desmond Ridder? Or will they get Ryan a talented weapon in a player like Alec Pierce? It’s hard to tell which way they are leaning, but there could be one or two Cincinnati Bearcats making the short move to Indianapolis this offseason.

Stats courtesy of Sports Reference

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