Bridgewater Should Be First QB Drafted

Created on Feb. 25, 2014 5:11 AM EST

The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is underway and athletes from colleges all over the country – both small and large – are setting out to prove they have the skill set necessary to succeed at the NFL level.

With as many as five or six teams in search of their future franchise quarterback at Lucas Oil Stadium, one young passer believes that he is a step above the rest.

“I feel like I’m the best quarterback in this draft,” Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater told reporters on Saturday. “I’m not just going to sit up here and just say it. Obviously, actions have to back up these words. I’m just confident in myself and my capability to be able to play this position. I’m just going to go out and prove that I’m the best guy.”

While advocates for Johnny Manziel – widely considered to be a top QB prospect – would probably disagree, I believe that Bridgewater’s comments have a lot of merit.

During his time playing for the University of Louisville, Bridgewater ran a pro-style offense and executed at a high level. In 2013, Bridgewater threw 31 touchdowns compared to just four interceptions and completed an impressive 71 percent of his passes.

Manziel, on the other hand, tossed 37 TDs and 13 INTs and completed only 69 percent of his attempted passes for Texas A&M. However, he did get away with quite a few ill-advised throws and ran more of a multiple offensive scheme, which does not as closely reflect the type of offense he will be expected to run in the NFL.

Point, Bridgewater.

For those who dislike utilizing statistics alone to form a conclusion, the game film also shows that Bridgewater has a more polished skill set that typically correlates to wins in the NFL.

Not only does he boast accuracy with his throws and great decision-making ability, Bridgewater also has the confidence to stand strong in the pocket. While he certainly has the talent to take off and run for a first down when necessary, Bridgewater is a quarterback first and is not too quick to give up on a play. At the same time, Manziel has been known to take off and run – albeit with success most of the time – before going through all of his progressions. With NFL defenses progressively getting quicker in an attempt to better play against dual-threat QBs, I believe your more traditional pocket passer is built for more long-term success.

Another point to Bridgewater.

While a franchise probably could not go wrong in choosing either Bridgewater or Manziel to lead the team, the score does not lie. Bridgewater is the more NFL-ready of the two and should be the first quarterback drafted in 2014.

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