If you spend any time around quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, you'll quickly learn how positive a person he is. That attitude has paid of lately as Bridgewater has seen his stock drop quite a bit after ending his college career as the 2014 NFL Draft's top quarterback prospect.
While a few players might be fearful of an Aaron Rodgers-esque draft night, Bridgewater was elated to be invited to New York City for the draft and is very much looking forward to walking across the stage at Radio City Music Hall.
"As soon as I got that call that extended the invitation, my mind was made up," Bridgewater said on "Path to the Draft." "It's been a lifetime dream of mine just to be there and hear my name called, so I'm very excited."
Bridgewater remains NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's top-ranked quarterback in this year's class, but that might not translate into being a top 10 pick like many expected it would before the NFL Scouting Combine. A handful of recent NFL.com mock drafts believe he won't slip by the Minnesota Vikings with the eighth overall pick or the Tennessee Titans with the 11th pick in the first round. There seems to be a growing consensus based on talk in NFL personnel circles, however, that he will either fall to the Cleveland Browns at No. 26 or wind up out of the first round entirely. Such is the crazy pre-draft process some players go through.
The roller-coaster ride to May isn't dampening Bridgewater's spirits, however, and he remains ready to be a franchise quarterback for whoever ends up picking him in the draft.
"It feels like it's been years since I touched the football and played a game in pads," he said. "I've been positive throughout the entire process, only worrying about the things that I can control. Basically, I look at every day as a blessing and a new opportunity.
"My family is pretty pumped," he said. "My mom can't wait to be there. Her birthday is May 6th so hopefully we can celebrate and have a good time."
Rose Murphy, Bridgewater's mother, is a breast cancer survivor and will probably receive plenty of camera time at the draft as she supports her son one more time on his journey to the NFL. The close bond the two share is familiar for anybody who watched a Cardinals game over the years. Murphy was frequently seen cheering on her son in the stands.
"It's going to mean a lot to me," Bridgewater said. "I want to reward her by sharing my biggest moment with her."
After going through so much over the years together, it certainly puts a little draft drama in perspective. As Bridgewater sits in the green room of the draft, he'll probably enjoy every second of the experience as he takes the next step in his football career, even if it's a bit longer than he first expected.
Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.