Prospect: Teddy Bridgewater (Jr.)
Grade: 7.85 (Grading Scale)
+Nearly prototypical height and frame.
+Plus change of direction skills, elusive in the open field.
+Excellent speed for the position, should run in the high 4.5 range.
+Tough player, has played injured – took some big hits and got right back into the mix.
+Flexible – able to bend in the pocket and stay balanced.
-Has had trouble keeping bulk on during the season – needs to keep his 220 pounds.
Arm Talent / Throwing Motion
+Natural throwing posture, powerful base.
+Carries the ball high and tight to his chest.
+Quiet shoulders the majority of the time, level throughout motion.
+Make a short, tight circle – elbow leads the throw creating some good velocity.
+Fluid arm motion, little to no tension present.
+Accurate thrower, especially over the middle of the field.
+Able to fit the ball in very small windows.
+Leads receivers away from defenders on curls and other underneath routes.
+Keeps solid throwing fundamentals while rolling out to both sides.
+Shows good touch down the field, even when on the run.
+Has a fastball, but is able to throttle down when needed.
+Good ball placement on screen/smoke passes, gets the ball out on time.
-Head gets a little unsteady at times when really trying to deliver a fastball.
-Back shoulder drops on occasion, leading to sailed passes.
+Active feet in the pocket, able to slide or boot to avoid the rush.
+Has extensive experience in the pistol/shotgun, but also takes snaps under center.
+Keeps his eyes down the field when out of the pocket.
+Will climb the pocket with traffic around him – oblivious to it in a good way.
-Relies on his quickness too much at times, lets rushers get to close before making his move.
-Can improve his ball security out of the pocket.
Command of Offense
+Excellent eye discipline, able to look off safeties like a veteran.
+Executes play action fakes very well, sells each one.
+Doesn’t lock on to one receiver, goes through the progressions.
+Favorite receiver is the open receiver, doesn’t seem to miss uncovered guys.
+Shown a lot of trust by coaches – play action on the 1-yard line for example.
+Able to run the zone-read, makes quality decisions and has athleticism to be dangerous.
+Makes the right mistakes, misses on the correct side of the receiver.
-While adept at reading coverages, failed to recognize some blitzes, needs to make those reads.
+Humble player, deflects praise onto teammates in the media.
+Embracing his role as a vocal leader in the locker room and on the field.
+Described as extremely coachable, with a fantastic work-ethic.
We’ll re-visit this scouting report during the 2013 season, but these are my first impressions after watching six of Bridgewater’s 2012 games.
Bridgewater has all the tools and traits that you want to see out of a first-round quarterback. He has the arm and pocket presence to be a traditional in the pocket passer, but possesses the speed and athleticism to be able to branch out into the zone-read game.
As a true junior that has already started 24 games in his first two seasons at Louisville, you can hardly call Bridgewater inexperienced. That said, most of his growth this year will come in areas where experience is what you need. Bridgewater is winning post-snap, we want to see him grow in his pre-snap reads. By no means is Bridgewater a slouch pre-snap – quite the opposite – but I think that is where most of his growth is going to occur.
He is a threat to attack all areas of the field on any given play. He delivers accurate throws across the middle and to the sideline, and if you run too many guys back into coverage, he will beat you with his legs. One of the more savvy plays that I saw Bridgewater make multiple times in 2012 was drawing linebackers up by faking the run and floating a touch pass over their heads to a now uncovered receiver.
Bridgewater is going to get some RGIII comparisons – right or wrong – but the toughness component is certainly there. He has played through injuries (ankle, wrist, etc…) in the past and takes big hits without missing a beat.
If Bridgewater continues to improve as a junior, I see no reason why he will not be a top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Depending on the team picking at the top of the first round, I expect either Bridgewater or South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to hear their name called first by Roger Goodell.