According to reports on ESPN.com, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be entering the 2014 NFL Draft. Touted by many as a preseason Heisman contender, Bridgewater’s campaign, as well as any realistic shot at a BCS title, was derailed in a loss to UCF on October 18th. Despite that bump in the road, Bridgewater’s Cardinals ended the season with a 12-1 record, finished second in the newly-formed American Athletic Conference (AAC), and defeated the University of Miami 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
In his nearly 3 years as a starter, Bridgewater’s average yearly QB rating was an impressive 156.1 with a 68% completion percentage. The more impressive fact being that he improved his completion percentage, QB rating, and touchdown to interception ratio every year. This highlights his ability to grow within a system and as the leader of an offense. He even had a big time performance in the 2013 Sugar Bowl against Florida, which featured one of the best defenses in the country.
Many pundits seem to believe he is the best QB in the draft and it’s hard for me to disagree. He is athletic enough to make plays with his feet but is not overly reliant on that aspect of his game. His 70% completion percentage and 32 attempts per game this year shows that he can be accurate enough to play in the NFL. The only knock on Bridgewater that comes to mind is the relatively low level of competition he faces week in and week out but he has stepped up in big games against big-time opponents like Florida. We have also seen small school or small conference QBs like Tony Romo or Ben Roethlisberger become Pro Bowlers so there is no reason to believe Bridgewater can’t do the same.
Three of the four teams drafting ahead of the Raiders (Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland) are in need of a quarterback, and the fourth, St.Louis, may also draft one depending on the staff’s opinion of Sam Bradford. Bridgewater could realistically end up on any of those four teams but if he falls to the Raiders at the 5th pick, I would be ecstatic at the idea of him being the franchise QB of the future.
How high do you rate Teddy Bridgewater? Would you like to see him in silver and black? If not, then which QB do you think the Raiders should take? Let us know!