Teddy Bridgewater was considered a lock for top-five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft for a very long time. For many draftniks, he is the best quarterback prospect of the 2014 rookie class and Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller went to say that Bridgewater is a better prospect than Robert Griffin III was out of college.
I am no expert in studying tape, but I agree that Bridgewater looks at least a step ahead of all the other quarterbacks that have entered the 2014 NFL Draft.
As expected, not everyone agrees with that. Some believe Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel is or will be the best quarterback out of this class. What is surprising, however, is that there are football people who think he does not rank among the top prospects.
It was first reported by Daniel Jeremiah a former NFL scout and current NFL.com writer. He send out the following tweet, back in January:
I have Bridgewater as a top 10 talent in this draft but I know several teams that don’t view him as a 1st round player.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) January 15, 2014
Some days ago, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ general manager and ESPN analyst Mark Dominik said (from ProFootballTalk):
Is he really the premiere quarterback? I like the young man, I think he’s a quality individual, he’s got character and leadership and those things. But this is a quarterback, and you’re judged by what quarterback you draft, and I think Teddy Bridgewater might not have all the pieces you’re looking for.
Dominik is not the only former GM who does not think Bridgewater is a top prospect. Phil Savage, a former Cleveland Browns’ GM, shared the same opinion on Sirius XM NFL Radio (from NFL.com):
I think the media has Teddy Bridgewater in the top 10, but around league circles he’s more like a late first, early second-round pick.
Despite all that, I’m certain that Bridgewater won’t fall out of the top ten. There are at least five teams picking there that could use a quarterback and it only takes one to pull the trigger on him.
The Philadelphia Eagles are not in need of a quarterback – they have all three QB spots occupied. But if Teddy Bridgewater was available when the Birds get on the clock, I’d like to see them selecting him.
Mark Sanchez is not a good quarterback. He was a promising player some years ago. but he regressed and showed that he cannot lead a team to success. Matt Barkley didn’t show much promise in 2013 (he was thrown in the fire unprepared, I give him that). If Nick Foles goes down with an injury, I wouldn’t be confident with Sanchez or Barkley taking over. Bridgewater is a better option than both of them.
That said, drafting Bridgewater does not mean drafting a backup quarterback. Foles was stellar in 2013, but you never know how things will develop. Chip Kelly has said that “you can never have enough talent at the quarterback position on your roster”. Having both Foles and Bridgewater gives the Eagles the most talent at the position since the Donovan McNabb – Michael Vick days.
Bridgewater would also give the Eagles a better fit for their read offense. Foles is not the ideal option for that type of offense and while Bridgewater is not a dual-threat quarterback, he is much closer to that than Foles.
I am not calling for a new signal caller. I like Foles and I believe in him as much as anyone, but more competition is always a good thing to have. If Bridgewater could outperform him and win the starting gig, that would only be good for the Eagles. So why not bring him in and raise the level of competition?
If that happened, though, Philadelphia would have to find a way to deal with having four quarterbacks. The Eagles would have to either carry four quarterbacks on their final 53-man roster or trade/cut Barkley. They could also pace him on their practice squad, but it wouldn’t be long before another team would sign him to its main roster.
Selecting Bridgewater would complicate things with the team’s quarterbacks, that’s why I think the Eagles won’t pull the trigger on him, even if he is available. However, if it happened, it would definitely benefit the team in the long run.