Desmond Ridder: Marcus Mariota is like a big brother to me

When the Falcons traded Matt Ryan to the Colts, they quickly pivoted to signing Marcus Mariota — setting up the 2015 No. 2 overall pick to be the club’s starting quarterback in 2022.

Then the club used the 74th overall pick in this year’s draft to select Desmond Ridder, potentially making him Atlanta’s quarterback of the future.

There’s a chance that Ridder could be the quarterback of the present, too. But to do that, he’ll have to beat out Mariota. And Ridder said during the last stages of the offseason program that becoming QB1 hadn’t been his primary focus.

“I take it day by day,” Ridder said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m not coming out here trying to win the starting job, right here, right now. My job is to come out here and to make myself better to them, make Marcus better to them and make the team better.

“So, that’s just my job. My role right now is to kind of bring everyone else with me. Bring the rookies with me. Bring all the guys around me with me so that we can become better.”

Plus, Ridder said Mariota has been especially helpful in aiding his transition to the NFL.

“He’s like a big brother to me,” Ridder said. “He’s taken me under his wing. He’s taught me some of the nuances of not only becoming an NFL quarterback but just an NFL player in general. So, I’m excited to keep learning from him and keep growing.”

Ridder was the second quarterback taken in this year’s draft following four years as a starter at Cincinnati. He was a two-time AAC offensive player of the year for the program.