Teddy Bridgewater Struggles at Pro Day, Looking Back at Other QB Pro Days
With the NFL Scouting Combine a few weeks in the rear view mirror, now comes the fun part of the silly pre-draft season -- individual workouts and Pro Days.
Photo by Kentucky National Guard Bridgewater shined for the Louisville Cardinals.
In plain English, this is the part of the Prospect Assessment Calendar where everyone will freak out (positively and negatively) over how well quarterbacks throw with no defensive backs, no pass rush, no pads, against air. In other words, it removes about every relevant element to how a player performs under duress.
Hell, it removes duress itself!
The Houston Texans are in the market for a quarterback (in case you hadn't heard), and of the three that are generally accepted as "on their radar" -- Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and Blake Bortles -- Bridgewater was the first one up in the Pro Day department on Monday.
The reviews were mixed.
If we have to find one voice to echo the general sentiment among experts and observers, NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock probably sums it up best. "I thought it was very average at best," Mayock said.
So how concerning should this be for Texan fans who prefer Bridgewater over Manziel or Bortles (or Clowney, or...)? Well, only Bill O'Brien knows that answer (I'm assuming O'Brien's opinion on quarterbacks will hold more sway in the war room come draft day than Rick Smith's.). It will be up to him to judge just how much the Pro Day counts toward the "final grade" for his quarterback.
For what it's worth, I think at most it should be the equivalent of a pop quiz in a college course. Like 5 percent, something like that. The film that Bridgewater laid down in his three seasons as a starter at Louisville, especially his final season where he tossed 31 touchdowns and only four interceptions while completing 71 percent of his passes against actual human beings, should count like the final exam.
Like two thirds of his grade. Minimum.
We are living in a new age of quarterbacks, where numerous signal callers have come into the league in the last three seasons and enjoyed success right away, some the ultimate success (Russell Wilson). In between and around these new standard bearers have been around the same number of quarterbacks who have flamed out and given zero reason to believe that they will ever be even average.
Using the starters who have come into the league in 2011 and 2012 (a dozen total), if any correlation exists between Pro Days and performance as a professional quarterback, it is hit or miss, at best (like everything in the draft process).
For points of reference on this, I've included links below to assessments of each 2011 and 2012 drafted starting quarterback's Pro Days. Some of the gushing over eventual flameouts and tepid assessments of current Pro Bowlers is pretty eye opening as to just how haphazard this part of the process is. I've also included a Pro Day Correlation Rating, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being virtually no correlation between quality of Pro Day and quality of on field NFL play, and 10 being direct correlation.
Also, I've put in BOLD some of the more eye opening quotes for each quarterback, either positively or deeply negatively correlated.
Basically, as you'll see, it goes back to what I say all the time -- nobody really knows anything.