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|
|BORTLES PASSING STATISTICS|
|MANZIEL PASSING STATISTICS|