Teddy Bridgewater Needs Impressive Pro Day to Raise Sagging NFL Draft Stock

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IFebruary 25, 2014

EAST HARTFORD, CT - NOVEMBER 08:  Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Louisville Cardinals drops back to throw a pass against the Connecticut Huskies at Rentschler Field in the first quarter during the game on November 8, 2013 in East Hartford, Connecticut.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater needs a near-flawless performance at his pro day to resurrect his flagging NFL draft stock.  

His stock has been slowly sinking since the end of December, and he didn't do anything to distinguish himself in a positive light at the recent 2014 NFL Scouting Combine. 

In fact, it could be said that Bridgewater hurt his stock more than anything.

He opted not to run the 40-yard dash, didn't throw and was described as "aloof" during interviews, according to B/R's Matt Miller.

Furthermore, his decision to abstain from running the 40 was confusing, as he had told reporters just one day earlier, he'd be running, as noted by Jonathan Litner of USA Today Sports:

No, I won't be throwing…I will be running, though. I will run here at the combine...I'm a competitor...each day I go out there and I'm eager to learn—remain astudent of the game—and I think that right there just separates me.

Then, just one day later...

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

At least one of his fellow competitors wasn't impressed, as ESPN's Josina Anderson communicated:

It's hard to figure out exactly what he's trying to accomplish at this point, which is exactly the wrong kind of message he needs to be sending to potential employers.

Meanwhile, Blake Bortles reportedly "owned the room" during his interviews, per Miller, and he took advantage of his opportunity to shine, throwing the ball at the combine. 

Johnny Manziel was also impressive during interviews, as relayed by Jenna Laine of NBC Radio, and he was one of the most impressive athletes during the measurable drills:

Heading into the combine, Bortles and Manziel already had a bit of a perceived edge over Bridgewater as the player the Houston Texans would consider at No. 1 overall. Afterward, this perception has only grown stronger. 

This leaves no room for error for Bridgewater's pro day if he has any chance of improving his stock and putting his name back in the hat for the No. 1 overall pick.

He must not only show acceptable speed running the 40 (which he could have and should have gotten out of the way in Indianapolis), but he must also be flawless throwing the ball. 

On the off chance he struggles throwing the ball and comes out flat, then there's a slight chance Bridgewater could find himself in a Geno Smith-type slide come draft day, falling into the second round.

Such a scenario doesn't seem likely, given the amount of quarterback-needy teams atop the draft, but with so many excellent prospects at the top of the draft, it isn't as crazy as it seems. 

But there's still time to save this. 

Bridgewater can still turn things around with a strong pro day and by changing the perception that he's "aloof." But at this point, it will be an uphill climb. 


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