INDIANAPOLIS – So who really is the best available quarterback at this year’s NFL Combine?
Right now, after the first four days of workouts and drills, it’s hard to tell. Take your pick. Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Teddy Bridgewater are all viable candidates.
For Bridgewater, there really isn’t any doubt.
“Yes, no doubt. I feel that I’m the best quarterback in this draft. I’m not just going to sit up here and say it,” the former University of Louisville standout voiced during his interview with the league’s media.
“There’s obviously actions that have to back up these words, and I’m just confident in myself and my capability to be able to play this position. I’m just going to go out there and prove that I’m the best guy.”
Bridgewater has opted not to take part in the Combine’s passing drills, preferring to wait until Louisville’s Pro Day. He does, however, plan on going through the other workout stations at the combine.
“The biggest thing was just me being a perfectionist, and I just want everything to go right. Whether I’m taking a five-step drop and the guy’s not on top of his route at the time, I just want to have that chemistry with the guys,” he explained.
For a team like Cleveland, or any northern NFL franchise, one question must be asked. Can the Miami native adapt to playing in cold weather?
“I played in cold weather at the University of Louisville. If it gets too cold, I’ll be able to put on a glove and throw with a glove, and I’ve had success doing that,” Bridgewater said. “I started wearing gloves when I arrived at the University of Louisville.”
A self-described football junkie, he’s says that the complexities of an NFL offense shouldn’t be a problem.
“A lot of people ask me what I do on the video game. I call it taking virtual reps. Each day, I’m trying to get better. I’m trying to outwork my opponent, outsmart my opponent and just try to be the best quarterback that I can be.”
Louisville ran a pro-style offense, which should also help in the transition.
“It just prepared me for some of the things that an NFL quarterback has to do nowadays with making the checks at the line of scrimmage, sliding the protection, (identifying) the Mike, getting the offense in and out of the right plays, signaling the hot routes to the wide receivers,” he said.
“It shows how much trust that the coach had in me, (offensive coordinator and quarterbacks) coach (Shawn) Watson, and I’m glad that he put that trust in me.”
This Road to the Draft segment is driven by Liberty Ford.