Cleveland Browns fans are almost certain to get a new franchise quarterback in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft. It would be in the best interest of both parties if that quarterback's name is Teddy Bridgewater.
That organization not only needs the best quarterback prospect in the draft; it also needs a magnetic personality to help inject some life into a bland franchise.
From a business and football perspective, Manziel to Houston is the best fit.
The Jacksonville Jaguars pick third and that team represents the biggest threat to the Browns, in regards to stealing Bridgewater away. Call me crazy, but I really believe head coach Gus Bradley loves Fresno State's Derek Carr.
When he worked with him at the Senior Bowl practices, his compliments for the young quarterback seemed genuine. This type of gushing over a QB doesn't sound like baiting or posturing.
Per The Fresno Bee, Bradley said:
"He sits in the front of the meeting room, takes meticulous notes, really into it. He's done a great job."
If this admiration is real, it would leave Bridgewater there for the Browns at No. 4. Though he doesn't have the most arm strength, his accuracy is excellent. His skills won’t limit any team’s offensive game plan.
What’s most impressive about him is his mechanics, which Ryan Lownes of Draft Breakdown lauds.
Teddy Bridgewater leads the pack with picturesque mechanics, mobility, decent arm strength, and impressive short-to-intermediate accuracy.— Ryan Lownes (@ryanlownes) January 6, 2014
But his intangibles also make him special. Bridgewater is a smart, confident leader. He may not be as in-your-face as Manziel. But make no mistake about it, he believes he is the best quarterback in the draft.
Mhmm RT @Cianaf: It's incredible to think that Teddy Bridgewater is only 21 years of age considering how he plays.— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) February 26, 2014
Per NFL on ESPN, he said as much:
Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater will throw at his March 17 pro day, says "I feel that I'm the best QB in this draft."— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) February 23, 2014
It’s one thing to believe you’re the best, but when experts like Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller second the notion, there’s some validity to the claim.
@Shwaski90 Teddy Bridgewater. Best QB in the class and gives Cleveland a legitimate starting QB.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 27, 2014
In Cleveland, Bridgewater would have the opportunity to grow with a new coaching regime, but he’d also have a young, elite receiver to gain chemistry with.
Josh Gordon had a spectacular second season in 2013. He led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,646. Of the top three teams in the draft that need quarterbacks (Texans, Jaguars and Browns), Cleveland has the best receiving options.
The Texans’ Andre Johnson is a future Hall of Famer, but he will be 33 years old when the 2014 season starts. Bridgewater to Gordon could become one of the most prolific combinations in the league.
If the cards fall properly, Bridgewater and the Browns will make a nice match.