You read that correctly. As much as Todd McShay would like you to believe that title belongs to Blake Bortles, it doesn’t. Bortles may wind up to be a fine NFL quarterback, and he has plenty of room to improve, but if you’re looking for the best quarterback to put into an NFL game right now, you want to draft Teddy Bridgewater.
Here are scout videos on Bortles and Bridgewater from Erick Ward, who makes great draft profile videos. To be honest with you, the Bortles video shows him in a better light than I would have. It seems to me comparing these videos that there are more issues with Bortles than Bridgewater. Bridgewater’s throws come with seemingly much less effort, and he has more strength behind his throws. Bortles seems to labor more with his delivery. One complaint I have with these videos is the quote used about Teddy’s mobility and how he’s not a “true dual-threat”. But here’s the thing: you don’t need him to be. Look at Russell Wilson. I normally don’t like making comparisons like this, but Wilson is able to use his mobility as a second option most of the time as a way to extend plays when no passing lanes are open. Bridgewater’s mobility should be of no concern; he can run just fine and exactly in the way you would need him to. Both of these players do have a bit of an issue with the deep ball, as these cut-ups show.
What are the reasons you see for why Bortles should go ahead of Bridgewater during the draft? Mostly the fact that Bortles has the “prototypical build” and that he looks (somewhat) like Ben Roethlisberger, whereas Teddy is a bit shorter (although 6’2″ is a fine height for a quarterback) and has a smaller frame, and also he had a bad pro day. The size factor is really a moot point nowadays, as quarterbacks of all sizes have been successful in today’s NFL. Just because you’re tall and built doesn’t guarantee success, not by any means. About the pro days: they don’t matter for quarterbacks when it comes to throwing, etc. For a Jadeveon Clowney, who had some physical skills to show off, it was worthwhile. Let’s go over some quarterbacks who had good pro days: Brandon Weeden and Blaine Gabbert (another prospect with the “prototypical” quarterback build. Some bad pro days? Nick Foles and Cam Newton. The point here is that pro days matter very little for quarterbacks.
The NFL Draft is a crapshoot to predict. You never know who is going to trade up, who is going to fall, who one team is enamored with, etc, so trying to get that perfect mock draft is really a pipe dream. The Bortles hype isn’t even the most ridiculous tale of the draft that the media is spinning right now (for more examples, see the hype around Tom Savage as well as Ron Jaworski saying Zach Mettenberger is the second best prospect in this QB class). Maybe Bortles will be taken first amongst quarterbacks and Bridgewater will fall, who knows honestly. The point though is that if you are looking for the best game-ready QB prospect in this draft, look no further than the true junior from Louisville, Teddy Bridgewater.