Head-to-head: Comparing three first-round QBs

The Vikings were the last team to draft a quarterback in the first round, so which of the first-rounders was best in 2013 and the best against common opponents? If that's the gauge, it looks like the Vikings won. We examine the statistics for 2013 and the common opponents of Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater.

Minnesota Vikings first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater is sure to be compared to the other first-round quarterbacks selected ahead of him – Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel.

Bortles was selected first, at No. 3 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars, followed by Manziel at No. 22 (the Browns traded up to get him), and Bridgewater was the last selection of the first round for the Vikings (they, too, traded up).

But just as the Vikings' 2011 first-round pick, Christian Ponder, is continuously compared to Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker, Bridgewater likely will have his statistics placed next to the NFL accomplishments of Manziel and Bortles. We won't know who will win those for years, but we do know who had the better college statistics.

Interestingly, if the 2013 seasons of the first-rounders are compared, Bortles wins very little from Manziel and Bridgewater. He didn't have the most yards, most touchdowns, best percentages or game averages among the three. Yards per attempt and completions were about the only common passing statistics in which Bortles beat out Manziel and Bridgewater in 2013.

Bridgewater took a few more categories. He had the highest completion percentage (70.96) and easily the lowest interceptions percentage – an impressive 0.94, compared to 2.36 for Bortles and 3.03 for Manziel. It follows, then, that his four interceptions easily won the season there, compared to Bortles' nine and Manziel's 13. Bridgewater also had the most completions (303).

Among the three, Manziel won the a few of the commonly used statistics: attempts (429), yards (4,114), touchdown passes (37).

But what about when the three had common opponents? Naturally, Bridgewater and Bortles had the most common opponents playing in the American Athletic Conference. They each won all seven of their games against common opponents, but who fared better in those contests?

Bortles and Bridgewater both faced the defenses of Florida International, Temple, Rutgers, South Florida, Connecticut, Houston and Memphis in 2013. In those seven games, Bridgewater slightly outperformed Bortles. Bridgewater completed 154 of 219 passes (70.3 percent) of his passes for 1,925 yards, 13 touchdowns and two interceptions. Bortles completed 131 of 197 passes (66.5 percent) for 12 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Manziel didn't have any common opponents with Bridgewater in 2013, but they did share one common opponent in 2012 – Florida. Manziel had a higher completion percent (76.7 to Bridgewater's 62.5), but Bridgewater had more yards (266 to 171), touchdowns (two to zero) and a higher rating (146.7 to 125.1), but he also had more interceptions (one to zero).

BRIDGEWATER PASSING STATISTICS
STATSATT COMPPCT YARDSTD YD/ATTYD/CMP INTI/PCT LGGM/AVG
2011296 19164.53 212914 7.1911.15 124.05 58163.77
2012419 28768.5 371827 8.8712.95 81.91 75286
2013427 30370.96 397031 9.313.1 40.94 69305.38
TOTAL1142 78168.39 981772 8.612.57 242.1 75251.72
                 
BORTLES PASSING STATISTICS
STATSATT COMPPCT YARDSTD YD/ATTYD/CMP INTI/PCT LGGM/AVG
2011110 7568.18 9586 8.7112.77 32.73 5395.8
2012399 25162.91 305925 7.6712.19 71.75 64218.5
2013382 25967.8 358125 9.3713.83 92.36 91275.46
TOTAL891 58565.66 759856 8.5312.99 192.13 91205.35
                 
MANZIEL PASSING STATISTICS
STATSATT COMPPCT YARDSTD YD/ATTYD/CMP INTI/PCT LGGM/AVG
2012434 29567.97 370626 8.5412.56 92.07 89285.08
2013429 30069.93 411437 9.5913.71 133.03 95316.46
TOTAL863 59568.95 782063 9.0613.14 222.55 95300.77


 

COMMON OPPONENTS Passing Rushing
WkDate  Opponent  Cmp AttPct YdsTD IntRate AttYds AvgTD
BRIDGEWATER 2013
49/21/2013  Florida International W17 2277.3 2124 0218.2 31 0.30
510/5/2013 @Temple W25 3571.4 3482 0173.8 32 0.70
610/10/2013  Rutgers W21 3167.7 3102 1166.6 711 1.60
810/26/2013 @South Florida W25 2986.2 3443 0220 5-25 -50
911/8/2013 @Connecticut W21 3756.8 2881 1125.7 721 30
1011/16/2013  Houston W19 2965.5 2030 0124.3 4-20 -50
1111/23/2013  Memphis W26 3672.2 2201 0132.7 1017 1.70
BORTLES 2013
29/6/2013 @Florida International W12 1963.2 2141 0175.1 422 5.51
911/16/2013 @Temple W27 3871.1 4044 0195.1 1163 5.70
1011/21/2013  Rutgers W21 3070 3351 0174.8 1332 2.51
1111/29/2013  South Florida W17 2665.4 2192 2146.1 6-14 -2.30
7 10/26/2013 Connecticut W 20 24 83.3 286 4 0 238.4 2 26 13 1
811/9/2013  Houston W17 2470.8 2100 1136 6-10 -1.70
510/5/2013 @Memphis W17 3647.2 1600 084.6 51 0.20
BRIDGEWATER 2012
131/2/2013 NFlorida W20 3262.5 2662 1146.7 7-17 -2.40
MANZIEL 2012
19/8/2012  Florida L23 3076.7 1730 0125.1 1760 3.51

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