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Jeremiah: Bridgewater's pro day opens door for Bortles, Manziel

All eyes were on Louisville's campus on Monday for the highly anticipated pro day of potential No. 1 overall draft pick Teddy Bridgewater. Unfortunately for the quarterback, it was not his finest performance for NFL clubs.

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NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock even went as far as to call the workout a "red flag" for teams to go back and check the film on him once again. Others were not quite as concerned about the session, but one has to recognize that Bridgewater cracked opened the door for others to claim they're the top signal-caller in the draft.

The two biggest beneficiaries? It could be Central Florida's Blake Bortles and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel.

"I don't think it impacts their preparation as they go toward their pro day, but I think there's maybe a little more at stake," analyst Daniel Jeremiah on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft." "They have a chance to climb up that ladder a bit.

"I don't hear that teams are just dead set on, 'This is my quarterback, that's my quarterback.' There's a long time before we get to the draft."

Jeremiah said he thinks as many as seven teams need to target a quarterback in the draft, including four of the first five picks in the first-round. Despite being one of the deepest drafts in years for NFL talent, quarterback seems to be the one position where there have been plenty of questions about each of the top five players at the position. As a result, the pro days for all of the top signal-callers have taken on a new level of importance for teams.

"Nobody likes the bright lights better than Johnny Manziel," NFL Media analyst Charles Davis said. "No one has a bigger stage right now than Blake Bortles. Here is their opportunity to go out and do that and make that work for them."

Bridgewater topped Mayock's top-five quarterbacks rankings coming out of the NFL Scouting Combine based on his impressive work as a starter at Louisville. Though the pre-draft process has resulted in a few knocks on him, he still has an opportunity to reassure teams in private workouts over the coming weeks. Most teams place greater emphasis on those sessions over the relatively controlled and scripted environment of a pro day.

Bortles will get his shot to leave an impression on scouts this Wednesday at UCF's pro day, and Manziel will return to College Station for a workout March 27. Davis said there could be another quarterback to flash what it takes this week as well.

"There's one guy we haven't even talked about," he said. "Derek Carr is saying, 'What about me?' Maybe the door opens up a little bit for him, too."

So toss the Fresno State quarterback into the mix when he hosts scouts Thursday.

There's not much separating quarterbacks at the top of the draft this year, and the gap between everyone could grow smaller still.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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