Olly Dawes assesses the qualities and areas to improve for Teddy Bridgewater, the college quarterback expected to become an NFL star.
Bridgewater shows great accuracy in short range passing. Against Central Florida, Bridgewater went 17/21 on passes between 0-10 yards, and one of those was a drop by a receiver. Bridgewater also completed four screen passes, but those are generally a given for any quarterback. Bridgewater throws with good velocity on short routes and consistently makes throws in tight coverage – 9/10
Bridgewater is able to display his great touch in the intermediate routes, and against UCF he completed 7/8 passes between 11-19 yards, including two touchdowns. The first TD throw was a great rainbow over a defender and into his receivers hands, whilst the second was incredibly ball placement into the endzone where only his receiver could catch the ball – 8/10
This is one of the few aspects of Bridgewater's game where he can stand to improve. On deep passes – charted at over 20 yards – Bridgewater completed just one of five passes, with one being a slight overthrow/drop by the receiver. One of those throws is harsh to criticise him for, as it was a Hail Mary attempt with five seconds to play that went incomplete, but it's still a part of his game that needs refining – 7/10
Throwing on the run
Louisville roll Bridgewater out on occasion, and Bridgewater still shows the same high accuracy whilst running. He completed 7/10 passes on the run against UCF, where one was a throw away and one was the aforemention deep throw which was dropped by the receiver. The other incompletion was a throw into tight coverage in the endzone, which was broken up – 8/10
Bridgewater doesn't possess an absolute cannon like LSU's Zach Mettenberger does, but he has enough to get by. He gets a lot of velocity on short-to-intermediate throws, but is never going to wow anybody with his arm. Whilst he sometimes gets criticised for throwing “too many rainbows, not enough lasers”, Bridgewater has the arm to make throws at the next level – 8/10
Bridgewater is a smart player who rarely makes bad decisions. He trusts himself to complete throws into tight coverage and rarely gets into trouble from that confidence. Bridgewater reads the field well and consistently goes through his progressions, and will take what the defence gives him sometimes by checking down to a short route – 8.5/10
Bridgewater shows really good mechanics, holding the ball high and throwing with a smooth motion. He gets good depth on his drop backs and rarely do you see his mechanics break down, resulting in him throwing side-armed. He is always keeping his eyes down the field and giving himself the entire field to read, but sometimes his passes do flutter slightly and work can be done to help him get the maximum velocity on his throws – 8.5/10
If people tell you he's “like Michael Vick or Robert Griffin III” then they're falling for a stereotype. Bridgewater is not a gamebreaking, athletic quarterback but he has enough mobility to make plays outside the pocket. This helps him avoid rushers and occasionally scramble for a gain, but he is a much better thrower than he is a runner – 8/10
Bridgewater does a good job of feeling the pressure and stepping up in the pocket to make throws down the field. Even when the pressure does get to him, he is tough enough to stand in the face of pressure and make throws, but this could be a problem at the next level with his slender frame. His weight has been reported between 196lbs and 220lbs, which is still a little light, but he's shown the toughness to take hits and continue to make plays – 9/10
As mentioned above, Bridgewater's weight and build are slightly concerning. He could stand to add some muscle/weight and bulk up slightly, just to prevent from any lasting injuries in the NFL. His height has been reported to be around 6ft 3in, but he looks slightly smaller than that on tape. The Louisville Cardinals play in the American Athletic Conference – formerly known as the Big East – and there are question marks over the ability of the opponents he's facing, but after seeing him light up the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl, this isn't much of a concern. Bridgewater has shown the ability to be a leader, and the story surrounding his mum's cancer situation shows what a great competitior the 20 year old is – 9/10
Despite the recent hype surrounding Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Bridgewater is still without question the #1 quarterback in this class, in my eyes at least. He appears to be a legitimate “franchise quarterback”, and depending on who has the #1 pick, he could go first overall ahead of South Carolina pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney. People are seemingly comparing every young, draft-eligible quarterback to the current crop of young stars in the NFL, but Bridgewater looks set to join them in that club of QB's for the future.
83/100 – as a basis, Geno Smith scored a 77.5 by the same criteria last year when he came out of West Virginia.
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