Bridgewater decided to not throw at the NFL Scouting Combine, opting instead to wait until his pro day at Louisville to throw. According to Brian T. Smith from the Houston Chronicle, Bridgewater struggled throwing at his pro day. The 21-year-old QB had this to say about his poor showing:
Me being a perfectionist, it was nowhere near where I wanted it to be. It’s a learning process. I was able to take away something from those throws and just tell myself that, ‘Hey, keep hitting the guy in the left shoulder.’ Or, ‘Keep hitting the guy in stride.’ But, overall, I just felt I had a great day.
During a segment on NFL Network, Mike Mayock said that Bridgewater's pro day was "average at best."
While he may have struggled at his pro day, Bridgewater should still be a top-five pick.
Pro days are just a small portion of the scouting process. Bridgewater may have had a tough pro day, but the film on him says a lot more. During his time at Louisville, Bridgewater showed some impressive accuracy on passes of all distances, and while his arm strength may not compare to someone like Matthew Stafford's at the next level, he's still shown some nice touch on the ball.
Along with the an above-average arm, Bridgewater has already shown that he's a pro-ready quarterback in Louisville's offense. He does a nice job going through his progressions and does a great job staying in the pocket and stepping through his throws.
The former Cardinals QB also appears to have the confidence to play quarterback. While at the NFL combine, Bridgewater felt that he was the best QB prospect this year, saying:
No doubt, I feel that I'm the best quarterback in this draft. I'm not going to just say that. I actually feel I can back up these words. I'm just confident in myself and my capability of doing all the things at this position and to go out there and prove that I'm the best guy.
Where should Bridgewater be drafted?
Bridgewater has the tools to be a first-round pick, but the biggest reason he'll still go in the top five is because of the teams that are sitting there. The Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders all have needs at quarterback, and the argument can be made that only three QBs--Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel—are worth a first-round selection.
Even if Bridgewater is the third quarterback taken, odds are that he would likely go to the Browns, as the Texans and Jaguars are almost certainly going to be taking QBs as well. The Browns recently released both Brandon Weeden and Josh Campbell, and with a new coaching staff, it's highly unlikely the franchise will choose Brian Hoyer to be its starter.
At the end of the day, the draft is still around two months away, and Bridgewater's struggles at his pro day will be forgotten by then. He may have not looked good, but Bridgewater is worth a top-five pick, and his name will be one of the first called in the draft.