BRIDGE over Troubled WATER – Say Hello to Teddy Bridgewater!!!
By Shawn Gallagher – DFW Writer
Well, since we’ve had the 2013 NFL Draft in April, we’ve spent the better part of the last two months analyzing, and over-analyzing the 2013 rookies and their new situations. Countless discussions about the dynasty values of guys like Geno Smith, Eddie Lacy, Tavon Austin, Zac Stacy and others have been dominating conversations as of late. Many of you have quite a few of these rookies on one roster or another, and some of you may have traded away some of these rookies or other current players, for future draft picks in 2014 and beyond. Since we’re a bit overloaded on 2013 discussion right now, I’ve decided to take things a step further and analyze who I feel is currently the top dynasty player in the future 2014 class, this way those with high 2014 rookie draft picks can have something to look forward to. Those that weren’t too high on EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, and the QBs of 2013, can rest easy knowing that Louisville Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be arriving in a dynasty league near you in 2014.
First Stop: Louisville
Teddy Bridgewater had a tremendous high school career as a quarterback at Northwestern High School in Miami Florida, and was highly regarded as one of the best high school prospects in the nation in the year 2010. Louisville and energetic Head Coach Charlie Strong impressively beat out several top tier college football programs in the recruitment of Bridgewater, and he was immediately regarded as one of the top dual-threat college quarterbacks in the nation. Bridgewater won the starting quarterback job as a freshman at Louisville in 2011, and later won the award for Big East Freshman of the year for his stellar quarterback play. Things really picked up in 2012 in his sophomore campaign, as Bridgewater passed for over 3,400 yards, while throwing for 25 touchdowns and rushing for 11 more during the regular season. National exposure came at the end of the 2012 season for Bridgewater, when he led Louisville to a shocking Sugar Bowl win over the heavily favored Florida Gators. This huge win really put Bridgewater into the spotlight as being a very special player with plenty of NFL potential, and here is a really good highlight video of Bridgewater’s big win over the Gators.
Bridgewater has the physical profile that any NFL team would want at the quarterback position, as he stands 6 feet 3 inches tall, and weights about 220 pounds. Teddy’s large body frame seems to make him very well equipped to deal with the hard hits an NFL quarterback will take.
Bridgewater will likely begin his final college football season at Louisville this coming fall, and immediately will be mentioned as a top Heisman Trophy candidate. In addition to the Bridgewater Heisman campaign, Louisville will be mentioned as team with a real shot to compete for a National Championship as well. Last year’s huge win over Florida coupled with a VERY favorable schedule makes it a realistic possibility that Louisville could go undefeated, and really help out Teddy’s Heisman campaign. Louisville should probably be favored in every game, and Bridgewater will have a great chance to put up some huge passing numbers Here is a look at Louisville’s 2013 football schedule, and you’ve got to admit its fun to see that “Papa John’s” Pizza sponsors their stadium.
|09/01/13||vs. OHIO||PAPA JOHN’S CARDINAL STADIUM||3:30 p.m. ET|
|09/07/13||vs. EASTERN KENTUCKY||PAPA JOHN’S CARDINAL STADIUM||TBA|
|09/14/13||at Kentucky||Lexington, Ky.||TBA|
|09/21/13||vs. FIU||PAPA JOHN’S CARDINAL STADIUM||TBA|
|10/05/13||at Temple #||Philadelphia, Pa.||TBA|
|10/10/13||vs. RUTGERS #||PAPA JOHN’S CARDINAL STADIUM||TBA|
|10/18/13||vs. UCF #||PAPA JOHN’S CARDINAL STADIUM||TBA|
|10/26/13||at USF #||Tampa, Fla.||TBA|
|11/08/13||at Connecticut #||East Hartford, Conn.||TBA|
|11/16/13||vs. HOUSTON #||PAPA JOHN’S CARDINAL STADIUM||TBA|
|11/23/13||vs. MEMPHIS #||PAPA JOHN’S CARDINAL STADIUM||TBA|
|12/05/13||at Cincinnati #||Cincinnati, Ohio||7:30 p.m. ET|
This guy especially loves Teddy Bridgewater!
As mentioned earlier, Louisville’s 2013 schedule looks tremendously easy, at least on paper, as Louisville should be a heavy favorite in most of their games. This could be a cause of concern that Teddy Bridgewater isn’t getting too many challenging defenses to face. I still look back at the dominating Sugar Bowl performance over Florida as solid evidence that Bridgewater can handle big time competition and tougher defenses. With this easier schedule, it really puts the pressure on Bridgewater to dominate in every game, as even one loss or a bad performance could end up costing him the Heisman Trophy, and/or a shot at the National Championship. Whatever the case may be, Bridgewater has no control over what his schedule is, he just needs to bring his “A” game each week, and he’s got a great chance at taking home some serious hardware at the end of this season!
Outstanding accuracy is the name of the game for Teddy Bridgewater, as he has been one of the most accurate passers in college football these past couple of years. Teddy maintains this accuracy even on intermediate and deeper throws, and he has a strong cannon-like arm. There really aren’t too many notable weaknesses to Teddy Bridgewater’s game, perhaps he could improve a bit on his footwork and pocked presence, but any weaknesses seem to be very minor and correctable. It really seems like Bridgewater has the “IT” factor that coaches and football executives really crave, and natural leadership is a really big plus in his case. Teddy also has very good mobility, although in the NFL he’ll likely remain more of a pocket passer than a scrambler. This highlight here of Bridgewater in a victory last year over Rutgers really showcases his tremendous NFL skill set and accuracy, and what’s even more remarkable is how he had such a great game while battling through multiple injuries.
NFL and Dynasty Outlook
Its obviously early to make too many predictions right now about Teddy Bridgewater, with a full year of college football ahead of him before he can make it to the NFL, but things really do look tremendously promising. As far as NFL comparisons go, Bridgewater actually reminds me quite a bit of Andrew Luck as a college prospect with a strong rocket arm and good mobility, and he could very well receive a similar amount of buzz and hype that Luck received leading up to his upcoming draft. Bridgewater’s amazing sense of accuracy really could lead him to great things at the next level, and I’m certain scouts and NFL teams have already taken notice of this. Barring some type of a collapse, I’d expect Teddy Bridgewater to be a Top 10 pick in the 2014 NFL draft, and quite possibly the first overall pick! I also think Bridgewater would’ve been the top pick in the 2013 NFL draft if he were eligible earlier this year. Dynasty owners have a great reason to follow college football very closely this upcoming season, and hopefully you get a chance to watch Teddy in action this season at Louisville. Just remember that if 2013 doesn’t end up going the way you had hoped for with your dynasty teams, a high rookie draft pick in 2014 could give you Teddy Bridgewater, a.k.a. the “Bridge over Troubled Water” that your team may need to return to glory!