In-depth scouting report: Teddy Bridgewater

NFL scout Dave-Te' Thomas breaks down and grades Teddy Bridgewater's game in more than a dozen areas important to the position, explaining where he needs to improve and in which areas he is already adept. Get the full work-up on Bridgewater with analysis nearly 3,000 words deep, including his impressive NFL comparison.

Player SchoolJersey Year Entered Test
BRIDGEWATER, Theodore "Teddy" Louisville #52011  
Height Weight Birth date College Position Pro Position
06:02.1214 10/10/1992 QBQB
Arm Length Hand Width Wingspan Vertical Jump Broad Jump
33"9 ¼" 78 5/8"30" 09'05"
Grade One Grade Two Time (10) Time (20) Time (40)
6.37.19 1.632.76 4.79
Bench Press Power Clean 20-yd Shuttle 60-yd Shuttle Three-cone Drill
n/an/a 4.211.91 7.17
2013 Best Games Ohio University, Eastern Kentucky, Florida International, Temple, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Miami
2013 Worst Games Kentucky, Connecticut, Houston
2012 Best Games Missouri State, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Temple, Syracuse, Rutgers
2012 Worst Games Florida International, Southern Mississippi, Connecticut
2011 Best Games Syracuse, West Virginia, South Florida
2011 Worst Games Marshall, Cincinnati, North Carolina State
Body Structure
Bridgewater has a lean, angular frame that needs to add more bulk, but he showed no loss in quickness after increasing his weight by 20 pounds from his freshman to sophomore season. He is shorter than ideal at quarterback, but has adequate body structure with decent muscle definition, good upper body tone in his chest and arms, good bubble, some thickness in his thighs and calves and above-average body control, balance and flexibility rolling out of the pocket.
General Report: 7.24
Athletic Ability: 6.5
Bridgewater is a quick, mobile passer with above-average balance and body control to make all the throws when on the move, but he lacks that second gear needed to elude when rushing past the line of scrimmage, compensating with the vision to locate the cutback lanes. He is smooth in his retreat from center to his throwing point, demonstrating the slide-and-adjust agility to step up in the pocket or roll out to avoid pressure. He shows average knee bend, but lacks the ability to weave through traffic. He makes a good effort to provide ball security before heading up field. With his balance moving in the backfield, he must be accounted for when he rolls out of the pocket, but as far as running with the ball past the line of scrimmage, he is not a valid threat. He has the body flexibility to change direction smoothly, but fails to generate the acceleration to win foot races going long distances. He lacks the ideal height you look for in a drop-back passer, but his mobility in the backfield makes him an inviting prospect for either a spread or pro-style offense. He runs with a normal stride and has the functional hip snap to change directions and avoid pocket pressure. He has good balance and adequate body control throwing on the move, demonstrating good hip rotation. He has decent foot quickness in his pass set and shows good quick-twitch fibers.
Football Sense: 8
Bridgewater is a very intelligent player with no problems executing a complicated game plan. He has good arm strength for the short to intermediate area, and has confidence in the fact that he has the raw arm power to air the ball out consistently, but is still savvy enough to keep the game plan within his athletic talents, as he rarely forces the ball into a crowed (just four interceptions on 427 passes in 2013 and only 12 thefts from his last 846 attempts). He is a student of the game who breaks down opposing film and does a good job of making adjustments on the field. The staff cites his knowledge of the playbook and his hours spent helping devise the game plan, calling him a coach on the field. He also excels in the classroom. Simply put, both Bridgewater and Blake Bortles excel in handling the mental aspect of the game better than any other 2014 draft eligible. He makes all of the required reads and checks to perform in a pass-oriented offense.
Character: 7.2
Bridgewater is respectful, mature and a very good program player. He is outgoing, well-liked by the staff and teammates and a good role model for the younger players. He has natural leadership skills that bring out the best in his teammates. He takes well to hard coaching and is a mature, responsible sort with the attitude and desire to mentor the younger players. The coaching staff praises his character and work ethic, saying he is a responsible sort and compliant to all of the team rules.
Competitiveness: 7
Even though he is soft-spoken off the field, Bridgewater has total command of the huddle. He has all the confidence in the world in his targets and knows how to take what the defense gives him rather than force the issue. He plays through pain and plays until the whistle. He shows very good poise in the pocket and confidence in his protection, as it is rare to see him bolt too early. He will stand tall and take some shots under pressure. He is a great improviser who always finds ways to make the play. He won't force the ball into traffic and can keep defenses honest with his long-range arm strength. Do not be fooled by his calmness under pressure, for this kid plays with good fire in his belly.
Work Habits: 7.5
Over the last two years, the Louisville's success has been the result of the squad buying into Bridgewater as their leader. He is a vocal sort in the huddle when he needs to be, despite being cool as ice in his approach to the line of scrimmage. He works hard in the off-season to improve his overall ability and has been the driving force behind the team's success, as the other players "bought into" his work ethic. You can see his maturity, desire and determination in everything that he does. He is an excellent role model for the team's younger players.
Athletic Report: 7.19
Set Up: 7.7
Bridgewater has very good balance and quickness driving back from center to his pass set point. He is effective throwing on the move from either hash, but not a threat to run with the ball past the line of scrimmage. He shows tight mechanics and sets his feet with good agility and base. Even with just average timed speed, his feet appear light when forced to move out of the pocket (just not going to win foot races going long distances and has had just two of his 226 rushing attempts gain at least 20 yards). With his body control, agility and hip flexibility, he is quick driving back from center, doing a nice job of setting his feet in either 3-step or 5-step drops. He gets to his throwing point fluidly and has the balance to make all the throws on the run. He is nimble and agile rolling out of the pocket and has the balance to step up and avoid pocket pressure. His speed to his throwing point allows him to surprise the lethargic defender.
Reading Defenses: 8
Bridgewater is confident in his ability to make all of his throws. He has the vision to scan the field and make good progression reads. His low interception ratio indicates that his vision and patience won't get the team into trouble with costly turnovers. He is not the type who will get even a bit overconfident and fire the ball into tight coverage, as he shows patience waiting for his targets to get in position to make the play and knows how to get the ball to his deep targets over their outside shoulder without the receiver having to adjust (see 2013 South Florida, Cincinnati and Miami games). While patient waiting for the plays to develop, he is not the type that will hold on to the ball too long and then try to force the action to make the play, as he knows when he needs to throw the ball away. One thing you quickly notice on film is that he is not only innovative, but quite creative with his feet when the pocket collapses (just not fast enough to beat defenders on long distance running attempts).
Release: 7.5
Bridgewater demonstrates the compact delivery and throwing motion, along with the wrist flick, to get the ball out cleanly and quickly. He has a compact motion, holding the ball chest-high to execute a fluid three-quarters release on deep throws, but you would like to see his release point a bit higher on those attempts (seems to fire the ball at ear-length than going over the top). He gets the ball through the throwing arc well and has a lively arm on short-to-intermediate passes and has learned how to vary his speed at times (as a freshman, he tended to put too much zip on his short throws). He plants well to throw and the pass comes out with a tight spiral, putting a nice spin behind his long tosses, even though he does utilize a lower than desired release point throwing the bombs. Still, even with that three-quarters delivery, and just average hand size, Bridgewater is very effective at getting the ball out quickly. He carries the pigskin chest-high but needs to be more alert to backside pressure and ball security, as defenses have had some success batting the ball out from behind (see 2013 Ohio University, Rutgers and Connecticut, and 2012 Kentucky, Missouri State and Syracuse games). He shows very good arm whip to get the ball out in time to hit the receivers coming out of their breaks.
Arm Strength: 7.4
In the short-to-intermediate area, Bridgewater's tosses show very good zip and velocity. When he attempts to air it out, the ball comes off his fingertips in an instant, showing very good weight distribution and passing mechanics. It is very rare to see his long tosses float or fall off, and almost never will his receivers have to break off their routes. He generates the same velocity, whether throwing off his front or back foot. He has the touch to fire the ball into tight areas underneath and shows good hip rotation to generate a tight spiral. He would be comfortable in a West Coast or ball-controlled offense, but with his arm strength, he can certainly make all the throws, evident by his last two years excelling in a pro-style passing attack. He has no trouble airing the ball out, as he has confidence in his arm power and accuracy to connect consistently on those throws (see 2013 Florida International, Cincinnati and Miami games). He shows good ease of movement unleashing the ball and puts good velocity on his underneath throws, knowing when to take a bit off those tosses to make it easier for the receiver to secure without having to adjust. He is the type of quarterback that needs to be in a scheme where he can air the ball out, rather than playing "dink-and-dunk" with a short-area passing game, as he is highly effective at throwing ropes 40 yards downfield with ease. With his live arm, he knows he can generate zip anytime he has to on his long attempts.
Accuracy: 7.8
Bridgewater is very accurate throwing from the pocket and has the balance to also make those throws on the move. He is very consistent setting his feet and shows good mechanics delivering the ball on time. He is a nice rhythm passer and not one that relies on hot streaks. He can drill the ball through the seam, but on short routes, he needs to vary the velocity of those throws so receivers only have to execute minimal adjustments. In 2006, he demonstrated good ease of movement on his deep throws, but needs to improve his trajectory (had 30 passes deflected in 2006 compared to 18 in 2005), but he did a nice job of placing the ball on the receiver's outside shoulder. He likes to air the ball out more than stay underneath, as he knows how to get the ball to his targets in stride rather than have them wait or come back for it.
Touch: 6.3
Bridgewater is good at making pre-snap judgment calls. He reduced his interceptions from 12 in 2011 to eight in 2012 and just four last season, resulting in his increased yardage output (from 2,129 yards as a freshman, followed by 3,718 in 2012 and 3,970 in 2013). He has good timing working in the intermediate area, but due to reverting to a three-quarters release on his deep throws, he does lose touch and ball placement in that area. He has the ability to adjust on the move, thanks to his good field vision. He is much more effective hitting the receivers in stride working underneath than on deep routes, as his short throws show good touch and placement while his long throws will come off his hands too high (floats and lofts).
Poise: 7
Bridgewater is a gutsy field general, evident by his performance playing under a lot of pressure the last two years, but he has been dinged up a bit, mostly with just nicks and bruises. He stands tall in the pocket under pressure and won't panic and try to run with the ball. He quickly forgets his mistakes and works through his progressions well, showing patience waiting for his targets to get open. Earlier in his career, he felt that he had to carry the team and make every play, getting into bad streaks of firing into a crowd (see 2011 Marshall, Cincinnati, Connecticut and North Carolina State games), but he now keeps his cool when "bullets are flying" and knows that when all else fails, he has the arm to step up and avoid the pocket pressure. He stands tough under duress and shows confidence in his ability to execute the play.
Leadership: 7.5
Bridgewater has complete control of the team, both on the field and in the locker room. He has a good understanding of the game plan and will not hesitate to take a teammate to task for poor play. His quiet air of confidence is contagious, as his teammates feed off his moxie. He is patient waiting for plays to develop and does a very good job with ball security. He is not really vocal on the field or the type that will demonstrate "Brett Favre" bravado, but is more like Tom Brady, taking what defenses give him without putting on a vocal show to tick opponents off. His teammates respect him and he is very assertive once he makes a decision.
Pocket Movement: 6.7
Bridgewater has the mobility to avoid pocket pressure, but lacks the suddenness to tuck the ball and head up field for big gains. He is effective at finding his secondary targets on the move. He stands tall and takes some punishing hits because of his lack of ideal speed, though. When he does escape past the line of scrimmage, defenses will soon converge and take him down. Most of his sacks are the result of Bridgewater sitting too long at the X's, as he knows he has only adequate speed (shows good slide quickness in attempts to roll out and throw on the move, though). Even when the pocket breaks down, he knows he can make all of his throws on the move. As a ball carrier, he just lacks the burst, strength and body lean to gain additional yardage after the initial hit and he needs to become more conscious of protecting the ball and shielding it from the defenders.
Scrambling Ability: 6
Bridgewater is effective at rolling out to locate his receivers, showing good accuracy throwing on the move. He won't win foot races past the line of scrimmage but knows how to square his shoulders and follow his blockers on goal-line running plays. He needs to add more bulk and strength in order to be more of a consistent tackle-breaker. He has good velocity throwing on the move, but is not highly agile trying to escape the defenders when heading up field.
Compares To
There is only one Rodgers, but both passers are extremely accurate and not the type that will force the ball into a crowd. Bridgewater has that lean frame that concerns some, but he had bulked up to 220 pounds as a sophomore before dropping 15 pounds for his junior season (completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2012 at 220 pounds and hit on 71.0 percent of his throws for 3,970 yards and 31 scores last year).

Bridgewater is not as tall or built like Rodgers, but both get most of their success by showing patience waiting for their targets to get open and hitting receivers on the move. He won't win any footraces as a runner, but has the loose hips and short-area quickness to avoid pressure and make plays on the roll-out. He will need to add more bulk to compete at the next level, but with his arm strength, patience and excellent vision, he would be an ideal fit for a pro-style offense.

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