When the offseason began, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was the consensus number one pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
During his three seasons at Louisville, Bridgewater threw 72 touchdowns and ran for six touchdowns. In his last two, Bridgewater led the Cardinals to 22 wins, including a Sugar Bowl victory over Florida.
But, after a poor showing at the NFL Combine and Louisville’s Pro Day, Bridgewater is trying to salvage his promising draft stock.
Bridgewater has all of the intangibles. He has a solid arm and enough speed to outrun the blitz.
NFL.com scouts say that even though he doesn’t have an ‘elite’ arm he makes up for it with “prototype measurables with the intangibles and football intelligence that could elevate the other 52 players around him.”
Scouts aren’t questioning Bridgewater’s skills but rather his substandard performances in the NFL Combine and Louisville Pro Day.
“[Bridgewater] should [have] aced this test easily,” ESPN’s Todd McShay said. “This was the rare occurrence where a quarterback comes out and does not perform as well as the tape. I wonder why … (NFL teams) all wanted to be wowed. None of them were.”
CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco was dissatisfied with Bridgewater’s display of arm strength.
“Bridgewater's arm was a bit of disappointment to me,” Prisco said. “I expected more. It was pretty good, but it's far from the gun that many said it was. I think he sometimes tried to get too cute with his throws rather than using the power he can sometimes show.”
Subsequently, Bridgewater’s projection has gone from the potential number one draft pick to a mid-to-late first round pick.
But that doesn’t concern Bridgewater, he is just focused on getting better.
After his pro day, Bridgewater didn’t convey a sense of disappointment. Instead he remained optimistic.
“Me being a perfectionist, it was nowhere near where I wanted it to be,” Bridgewater said. “But it’s a learning process. You can take away some things from those throws … Overall, I felt I had a great day throwing the football.”
Although his draft stock has fallen, Bridgewater remains focused on the big picture. He knows that he is going to get drafted and he may have to step in and start during his rookie season.
“I just pay no attention to it — where my stock is,” Bridgewater said. “The draft can go anyway. I just continue, like I said, to control what I can control.”