The NFL Draft is less than a month away and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been busy bringing in prospects the last few weeks, including quarterbacks. Last week they brought in Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel and Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo. And this week, they’ll be bringing in Derek Carr out of Fresno State. In this multi-part video series, I examine the quarterbacks the Bucs have shown interest in, starting with Bridgewater.
Bridgewater may have had a lackluster pro day at Louisville, but that could have been a result of some small tweaks to his mechanics over the last few months or the fact that he chose not to wear a glove on his throwing hand, something he did throughout college. The right coaching at the next level should help him re-establish his comfort zone, and one bad outing shouldn’t theoretically destroy his draft stock, although some draftniks are acting like it has.
In 2013, Bridgewater threw for 3,970 yards, 31 touchdowns and just four interceptions. FOUR. He completed 71-percent of his throws, the highest completion percentage among quarterbacks attempting 400 or more passes. In 2012, he posted similar numbers, with 3,718 passing yards, 27 TDs and eight interceptions. In his three years as a starter, he finished with a 68.4 completion percentage.
He played in a pro-style offense at U of L, possesses a high football IQ, and demonstrated tremendous accuracy and leadership. He’s a prototypical drop-back passer but has shown enough functional mobility to scramble outside the pocket when needed to pick up first downs. He’s also shown he’s got the “it” factor to win big games, including a Sugar Bowl win against Florida in 2012. The biggest concern for him is his frame. At 6ft 2, 214 pounds, durability may be an issue for him at the next level, although coming out as a junior, there’s a chance he could fill out a bit more.