Louisville quarterback and potential top overall pick Teddy Bridgewater isn't a lock to enter the 2014 NFL draft. The highly touted prospect is reportedly still considering the option of returning to the Cardinals for his senior season.
John Middlekauff of CSN Bay Area, who's a former NFL scout with the Philadelphia Eagles, reports multiple sources have told him Bridgewater isn't totally sure if he's going to make the jump. One more season at Louisville remains a realistic option:
Multiple sources tell me Teddy Bridgewater has contemplated returning to school. No decision has been made at this point— John Middlekauff (@JohnMiddlekauff) December 13, 2013
Interestingly, when pressed on why a top prospect like Bridgewater would consider giving up the opportunity to get selected with the top pick for another year in college, Middlekauff noted he's heard from people at the next level who don't think the Louisville product would go No. 1:
Bridgewater hasn't talked much about whether he was planning to go pro throughout his junior campaign. Back in October, he was asked on ESPN (via Andy Fenelon of NFL.com) about his plans and simply said he wasn't able to predict the future at that point:
"I can't predict the future right now," said Bridgewater, who could predict his NFL Draft future if he really wanted to. "I'm just living in the moment. I'm just taking it one day at a time and enjoying all my time here at the University of Louisville. Whatever happens down the road, that just happens."
For what it's worth, CBS Sports experts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler currently project Bridgewater to get taken off the board by the Houston Texans with the first pick, if he declares. Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller has him going fourth to the Minnesota Vikings in his latest mock draft.
What do you think Bridgewater should do?
Going back to school would be a risk for Bridgewater. Even if he doesn't end up getting taken with the first pick, he's a strong bet to go inside the top five given all the teams looking for quarterbacks. Injury or poor play could change that elite status before next year.
That said, it's a personal decision and he must decide what the best option is both in the short term and in the future.
If he does go back to Louisville for his senior season, there would likely be a battle between Johnny Manziel (who would also have to forgo his remaining eligibility) and Derek Carr to become the first quarterback taken.
For now, however, that top quarterback spot still belongs to Bridgewater unless he officially announces he's staying in school for another year.