2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Teddy Bridgewater
To prepare for the 2014 NFL Draft InsidetheFilmRoom is breaking down the best 5 prospects from every position. This week we are examining the top quarterback prospects and we are focusing our attention on Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater today.
Having grown up in Miami Teddy Bridgewater surprised some when he decided to leave the Sunshine State to play his college ball at Louisville. As a Cardinal, Bridgewater wasted no time as he won the starters job as a true freshman and threw for over 2,000 yards, good enough for a Big East Freshman of the Year award. He continued to progress during his sophomore year and came into his junior season as the consensus number one quarterback prospect in the 2014 draft.
Yet after another dominant season — nearly 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns to 4 interceptions– Bridgewater has seemingly fallen behind Blake Bortles and potentially Johnny Manizel and Derek Carr because of a sub par pro day and concern over his size. While his narrow frame is a real worry, he is a proven quarterback with excellent accuracy, great pocket presence, good mobility and should hear his name called in the first 8 picks.
Accuracy and Touch: Bridgewater is extremely accurate passer especially on short to intermediate throws, hits his receivers in stride enabling yards after the catch, has great touch on his passes, can fit the ball into tight windows against both man and zone, puts the football where only his receiver can make a play and is very accurate on the move.
Mobility: Great pocket awareness and climbs forward well, has the quickness and agility to make defenders miss in the backfield, slippery, not exactly a dual-threat but can hurt teams when he escapes the pocket and should be able to run some zone read if needed.
Vision: Played in a pro style offense that required him to progression read, displayed the ability to get to his 3rd and 4th read if need, able to look off the deep safety, great awareness as a passer, sees the holes in zone defenses, has the anticipation to throw receivers open and always knew where his check down option was.
Intangibles: Great work ethic, puts in time in the film room, mature, able to be the face of a franchise, retains information well, played 3 years in a pro-style offense, understands defenses and how to attack them and came up big in big moments at Louisville.
Size: Slender 6’2″, dealt with some nagging injuries, worried about his ability to play 16 games in the NFL, doesn’t help that he has a lower release point and doesn’t have the frame to add much more weight.
Average Arm Talent: Capable but inconsistent on deep throws, passes can flutter at times, accuracy on 30+ ball is average at best and could have problems in windy/poor weather situations.
Overall: After watching Bridgewater’s game tape its hard to find any holes in his game. He is an efficient passer that has all of the intangibles that one would want out of a quarterback. Despite his impressive body of work at Louisville it is understandable why he has dropped slightly on draft boards lately. Bridgewater isn’t an imposingly athlete, he is only a slender 6’2″ and doesn’t have the cannon that scouts can become enamored with. Prospects like UCF’s Blake Bortles — 6’5″ 230 pounds with a monster arm– or even Pitt’s Tom Savage always make a late charge up draft boards because they look good throwing the football in shorts and a tee shirt.
In that same situation Teddy Bridgewater looks relatively ordinary. His strengths are understanding a defense, stepping forward as the pocket collapses, balancing touch and power to fit a throw in between the levels of a zone defense and progressing through multiple reads. Or things that actually matter in football games. Yes his size is a slight worry– the comparisons to RGIII are non sense as Bridgewater doesn’t rely on scrambling nearly as much and has pocket awareness which RGIII lacked entering the NFL from Baylor’s spread offense– but Bridgewater is an elite quarterback that can orchestrate an offense because of his intelligence and accuracy.
He isn’t the most impressive quarterback physically but no quarterback in the 2014 draft class has a better understanding of the game than Bridgewater which is vital for a position that requires the ability to make quick decisions under pressure.
Prediction: Top 8 Picks
Other 2014 Quarterback Scouting Reports: