“I can’t remember being in such awe of a quarterback in my decade of attending combines and pro days. Russell’s passing session was the most impressive of all the pro days I’ve been to. His footwork for such a big quarterback was surprising. He was nimble in his dropbacks, rolling out and throwing on the run. The ball just explodes out of his hands.” ESPN’s Todd McShay
“The workout Russell had was Star Wars. It was unbelievable.” Jon Gruden
Just a couple of quotes to help put “Pro Days” into perspective.
Teddy Bridgewater is the Antithesis of Jamarcus Russell. Bridgewater is a polished pro-style, throwback qb, with accuracy, footwork, and intelligence. While Bridgewater may lack the hype and out of this world physical skill set, he still in my eyes the top QB of the 2014 NFL Draft.
According to many media pundits and the NFL Network analysis, top rated QB Teddy Bridgewater’s Pro Day in Louisville was sub-standard. NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock indicated Bridgwater’s Pro Day was “average at best.” And further indicated he saw “a lot of flutters, a lot of inaccuracy.” Other draft gurus and media types agreed.
Dennis Allen was in attendance amongst other head coaches drafting in the top ten. Also the Raiders were reported to be the first team scheduled for a one-on-one meeting with Bridgewater after his pro day.
Bridgewater’s tough pro day is an odd occurrence, especially in a controlled environment and with familiar receivers. Many scout’s will tell you, a pro day is less about the drills, and more about seeing a prospect up close and personal. Observing a prospect in person can help scouts gauge attributes like velocity, size, and speed.
If you care Bridgewater clocked in a 4.78 forty-yard dash.
Agents, coaches, and players have turned the pro day into a science, ensuring players do not hurt their draft stock. Bridgewater declining to throw at the Combine, coupled with a poor showing on his pro day may have teams re-evaluating their draft charts.
But tape doesn’t lie. Watching Bridgewater shows an accurate, intelligent, and tough QB worthy of the #1 pick. While other top rated QB’s may have more upside, they also have questionable faults, not seen in Bridgewater. Accuracy under pressure, solid footwork, pro-style experience, and high football IQ are all qualities Bridgewater possess over his counterparts in this years NFL Draft. Bridgewater is also a complete quarterback, and wouldn’t require a “dumbed-down” offense or as big of a learning curve as the other young QB’s.
If Bridgewater lands to the Raiders at #5, Raider Nation should be elated. Not because Bridgewater is an outstanding physical specimen, but rather because Bridgewater is an outstanding Quarterback.