Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders 2014 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Teddy Bridgewater

This years’ draft is filled with a lot of high upside players and most of them are potential prospects for Oakland due to their high draft pick at #5. There are no surefire draft picks this year in the mold of Andrew Luck. The NFL Combine will give us a better idea of where prospects sit with the teams at the top of the draft. With that being said I am going to break down a top prospect each week leading up until the draft and whether Oakland should consider drafting this player. For my first breakdown, I will focus on a player who has been linked to the Oakland Raiders a lot recently, Louisville’s QB Teddy Bridgewater.

Arm Accuracy: 17/20

Bridgewater has one of the best arms in the draft and his arm accuracy is one of the biggest reasons. While breaking down his film I saw he has good anticipation on comeback/curl routes and throws the ball before his receivers turn and puts it right on the money. He is also very adept at hitting receivers over the middle in stride, which allows them to pick up yards after the catch. Bridgewater always squares his shoulders and can throw the ball while moving either to the left or the right, this is something you don’t see a lot in young QB prospects. The one area where Bridgewater struggles is his deep ball accuracy. He often overthrows his receivers on deep routes or throws the ball too close to the sideline and doesn’t give his receivers enough room to make a play on the football. All in all Bridgewater has great throwing mechanics, that will translate to the pro game.

Arm Strength: 19/20

Teddy routinely showed off his great arm strength this season whether it be on deep routes or throwing into tight coverage, he flashed plus arm strength. You can see the zip right out of his arm and the tight spiral every time he throws the ball. On the last play against UCF, Bridgewater threw the ball almost 60 yards in the air to give his team a chance at a last second jump ball. Although that pass fell incomplete his arm strength was on display all season long on slant routes and post routes over the middle getting the ball into extremely tight windows. Bridgewater has enough arm strength to make any throw on the field and teams always love QB prospects with big arms.

Mobility: 16/20

Bridgewater is a very athletic QB and he can run to pick up first downs, but he is very much a pass first QB. He uses his athleticism to escape pressure in the pocket, get on the move and make a throw downfield. Bridgewater does have good speed but he doesn’t use his legs to run as evidence of him having less than 200 total rushing yards in his college career. Personally the thing that impresses me the most about Bridgewater is his ability to escape pressure, roll out, and find a man downfield for a pass. I think his innate ability to roll out and make plays with his arm will keep him healthier in the NFL than simply taking off and running.

Decision Making: 18/20

Bridgewater makes great decisions at the line by adjusting his protection and play after he reads the defense. He is the best QB at reading a defense in this years draft. Also Bridgewater will go through his reads and find the open receiver, something the other QBs in this draft struggle with at times. What I don’t like about Bridgewater is his overconfidence in his arm and try to fit the ball into tight spaces unnecessarily. While he got away with this in the American Conference, in the NFL this will lead to many turnovers. Teddy will need to dial down some of these risks to keep from turning the ball over the way Geno Smith did this season.

Durability: 14/20

The biggest question I have about Bridgewater is his ability to stay healthy for an entire NFL season. Bridgewater has had multiple injuries throughout his college and even the end of his high school career. Teddy had a MCL injury that caused him to miss some time his senior season in High School. He broke his wrist and sprained his ankle last season. This season he injured his ankle again earlier in the season. While he was still able to mostly play through these injuries the question remains whether he will hold up for a NFL season. He is listed at 6′ 3″ 205 lbs which is small for a NFL QB and could lead to more severe injuries in the future. While nobody questions his toughness, I still question his ability to stay healthy in the NFL.

Overall: 84/100

After breaking down the film on Bridgewater it is clear he is a QB the Oakland Raiders should target in the draft. He is an athletic QB who has great accuracy and arm strength. He has all the tools to become the Raiders franchise QB they have been missing for a decade. If I was Reggie McKenzie I would only hesitate on Bridgewater because of his injury history, the Raiders don’t need to worry about their QB of the future being sidelined for half a season. Despite his shaky injury history if Bridgewater is available the Raiders should pull the trigger and try to build their future team around him.

Bold Prediction:

I predict Bridgewater will be a top five pick this draft and may even slip to the Raiders at no. 5. Wherever he winds up I believe he will win the starting job by Week 4 and will have mixed results. Bridgewater will end up having a similar season to Geno Smith of the New York Jets, and less like the season Russell Wilson had his rookie year. I like Bridgewater as a NFL QB but I envision him struggling his rookie season.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft NFL NFL Draft Oakland Raiders Scouting Reports Teddy Bridgewater

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    OK, yes Bridgewater is good. But I been listening to all these critics, on Sam Bradford or Jake Locker, Russell Wilson etc etc…. Whenever a successful Qb’s came into the league and started within their first 2 yrs. They had 22-3 common denominators. They are great running game strong front line and good to great defense. So I say pass on the rookie QB’s work with Terrelle Pryor and Mc Gloin. Pick up either Vick or McGown. This all depends on who you want to build your game around. Allen do not like Pryor and if I was not a Diehard Raider fan I would hope he cut him and I go wit Pryor. So he needs to stay in Oakland. That sitting in the pocket QB is not healthy no more. DE too fast. Clowney coming in running a 4.5. Stop trying to change things. Al might gave away too much money but Al knew football. People said he was crazy to draft Punters and kickers in the early rounds. Yet we talk about field positions. Then he knew we build a team from inside out. Big and strong fast up front. With a big strong Backfield. Look at what Big Ben had in his first 2 yrs. As well as Joe Flacco, Tom Brady. Hell Elway did not win a SB until Terelle Davis came along. The Ravens won the Super bowl with Trent Dilfer. Cause of the Defense. We have the Qb’s we have the Running backs re-sign Jennings. Let McFadden go. Now that we sign dude from CFL I guess we cutting Stewart as well. We have Olwigie,and Reece, leading Murray and Jennings That is 500 lbs of beef coming though the hole. Get some strong stay healthy men up front that gives the QB and receivers to get comfortable with one another. Draft on Coners unless we can get free agent. Young and Talent big and hard hitters.

  • bob saget

    Kory sheets might blow jennings and murray out of the water but that`s going to be determined in training camp and pre season, but oakland diffidently should be solidifying the defense, oline and the #1 receiver position before drafting a qb. Sure this is a qb league now where every team wants a solid qb but like you mentioned all of the teams that had successful qb`s in rookie years had a good team around them. a great hall a fame franchise qb is hard to come by but even if we had one at this point he would seem like aa bust simply because the team around him is slacking, if i was reggie id stick with solidifying the wide receiver situation in the draft then adding oline men and defensive players come free agency season but at the same time obviously trying to add depth to the defense and o line during the draft. they should really try at least 1 really good cb, 2 good defensive line men, retain Houston,a extremely good DE and 2 great guards for the oline then draft a WR. i believe a min of 87% of the salary needs to be spent that’s average over 3 to 4 years they might as well go big this year in regard to free agency there already behind on there already behind with the spending they might as well go really big this year considering reggie and allen are fighting for there jobs this year. if they can avoid blowout’s this year and improve the team record from anywhere from 5-11 or better they should be retained for another 2 years, slapping a bunch of players together always takes a few years before you truly get great chimistry in a team and maximize potential

  • Raider Grant

    Keep QB’s we have & acquire help for D/oline. Raiders want franchise QB, wait for Marcus Mariota next year! Mariota is pass first QB, reads field exceptionally well, capable of checking down options & runs with the best of them. Raiders would be crazy not to set things up & go all in to draft this kid next year.