Oct 26, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) runs with the ball against the South Florida Bulls during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars 2014 NFL Draft: Forget Trading for Teddy, Just Take Him at #3 Overall

Draft season is always rampant with speculation, overanalysis, and the inevitable nitpicking of the top prospects. By far the most perplexing of these trends is the systematic dismantling of Teddy Bridgewater. Near the end of the college football season and into the draft-prep season, Bridgewater was thought to be the top quarterback and the number two overall prospect in the draft behind Jadeveon Clowney by most draftniks.

Site Old Ranking New Ranking
ESPN.com Scout’s Inc. #1 QB, #3 Overall (11/8/2013) #2 QB, #13 Overall (4/12/2014)
CBS Sports #1 QB, #4 Overall (1/1/2014) #3 QB, #9 Overall (4/8/2014)
Walter Football #1 QB, #3 Overall (12/11/2013) #3 QB, #15 Overall (3/29/2014)
Draft Countdown #1 QB, #4 Overall (2/8/2014) #1 QB, #8 Overall (4/12/2014)

Unanimously considered the top quarterback before his “poor” pro day, Bridgewater has fallen on almost every board on the internet. While ultimately meaningless because what actually matters is the big board of each NFL team, it’s still disturbing to see such a precipitous fall for a player.

The slide for Bridgewater has progressed enough for someone to ask ESPN blogger Michael DiRocco whether or not the Jaguars would trade back into the first round to take Teddy in the 20s.

@ESPNdirocco: Caldwell has said he’s keeping his options open, and trading into the late first round is certainly a possibility if Bridgewater free-falls into the mid-20s. The Jaguars have 11 picks so they do have enough currency to make a move like that. But if they don’t have Bridgewater rated significantly higher than some of the other quarterbacks that are remaining on the board at that time then I don’t see them making any kind of move.

I would have called you a complete lunatic if you thought Teddy would last past the third pick a few weeks ago. Also, I highly doubt Caldwell or any GM would trade away picks in a draft this deep to move back into the first round for a quarterback they didn’t think was worth the 3rd overall pick. If you think he’s a franchise guy, why risk missing out on him at all? Just take him at 3.

I have been pretty consistent with my opinion on Bridgewater and I would be thrilled if the Jaguars took him with the third overall selection. Thankfully there are still a handful of people who still agree with me – Doug Farrar of Sports Illustrated and SB Nation’s Matthew Fairburn are two of them.

 Paralysis by analysis is a common issue when it comes to the pre-draft process, and it’s landed on Bridgewater this time. The solution is simple: Go back and watch the tape, and see the most NFL-ready quarterback in this draft class.

– Doug Farrar

 

He’s a potential franchise passer due to his mental makeup, advanced pocket presence, accuracy and anticipation when throwing the football. Those knocking Bridgewater as overrated are over-thinking things.

– Matthew Fairburn

The thing that’s most troubling about some of the analysis knocking Bridgewater is just the general lack of logic being used. Bridgewater is generally lauded for having the best accuracy, poise, pocket presence, and mental make-up of all the quarterbacks, arguably the most important traits for the position. His “flaws” – lack of size and bulk coupled with less-than-elite arm strength – are things that will not hold him back in the NFL. His arm is good enough, and his issues with weight have been addressed thoroughly.

As I said, at the end of the day the only thing that matters is his position on NFL teams’ boards.

If your flavor is an accurate, polished quarterback who can manipulate the pocket and throw with anticipation and touch, then Bridgewater is probably your guy. Someone picking in the top 10 will see that – I’m hoping it’s David Caldwell.

 

-Daniel Lago

Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89

 

 

 

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Jacksonville Jaguars Teddy Bridgewater

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