Louisville junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is turning pro, NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt confirmed Wednesday.
Can confirm Bridgewater will enter 2014 #NFLDraft. Never really wavered. Decision was made months ago.â Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) January 1, 2014
Bridgewater (6-foot-3, 196 pounds) long has been considered the most pro-ready quarterback in the 2014 draft class and he is one of the top contenders to be the No. 1 pick. Houston owns the top overall pick, and new Texans coach Bill O'Brien is considered a quarterback guru of sorts.
Bridgewater finished this season with 31 touchdown passes -- a school single-season record -- and just four interceptions. After completing 35 of his 45 pass attempts in the Russell Athletic Bowl, he raised his completion percentage to 70.96, leaping past East Carolina's Shane Carden for No. 1 in the FBS.
NFL Media analysts Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah said last month that while they like Bridgewater, both think he will be overdrafted.
Bridgewater lacks bulk -- at times, you'd swear he was a stick figure standing in the pocket -- but NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks points out he saw Aaron Rodgers overcome similar issues when he left Cal for the NFL to become one of the league's top quarterbacks. While Bridgewater doesn't like to run, he does a nice job of sliding his feet in the pocket. He also is comfortable while rolling out to his left or right. In addition, past and current coaches and teammates rave about his leadership qualities. Bridgewater definitely seems to have the "it" factor.
He threw for 3,970 yards this season; in 2012, he passed for 3,718 yards, 27 TDs and eight picks. He owns a career completion percentage of 68.4 on 1,142 attempts in a pro-style attack. As a freshman in 2011, he threw 12 picks as a first-time starter but showed vast improvement in his decision-making the past two seasons.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.