ANDRESS | Bridgewater's Pro Day "nowhere near" where he wanted it
***VIDEO - Teddy Bridgewater Pro Day Press Conference: CLICK HERE***
LOUISVILLE, Ky. --- Teddy Bridgewater may end up being the first overall pick by the Houston Texas in the 2014 NFL Draft, but if he is, it won't be because he dazzled scouts and coaches at Louisville pro day on Monday.
Bridgewater went through passing drills and ran the 40-yard dash, after skipping both at the NFL Combine.
His first unofficial 40-time was 4.78 seconds (likely in the 4.8s officially). It was good enough for Bridgewater to opt out of running it a second time. Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, #2 overall pick, and current Fox Sports 1 analyst Donovan McNabb's reaction to Bridgewater's 40 was, "he's good," saying he did what he had to do to avoid any red flags from NFL teams.
The 40-time won't affect Bridgewater's draft stock, but his ability to make NFL caliber throws will.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport tweeted: "Usually during Pro Days, you hear ‘the ball didn't hit the ground.' Won't hear that with Teddy Bridgewater's Pro Day at U of L. Good arm tho"
The NFL Network's lead draft analyst Mike Mayock said of Bridgewater's passing drills, "I thought it was very average at best."
Bridgewater threw 63 passes and completed all but 7 of them, but many others were underthrown and saved by his former teammates as receivers. A few deep balls and corner routes to the sidelines were overthrown well over receivers' heads.
ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski even speculated Bridgewater might have changed his throwing motion, after watching some inaccurate throws. He didn't.
"No sir," Bridgewater said after his workout. "May have tweaked some things with my footwork, but my throwing motion's been the same."
Some perspective is needed here on Bridgewater's imperfect day. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay pointed out NFL Draft bust (and #1 overall pick) JaMarcus Russell had a jaw-dropping pro day and successful Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan's pro day was less than stellar.
Bridgewater said he already has something set up with the Houston Texans in the near future, likely a private workout. Obviously, the team with the #1 overall pick is still considering him.
Bridgewater said he also interviewed with a team in Louisville over the weekend (the Minnesota Vikings, according to Rapoport, currently with the 8th pick). The teams with picks 3 through 5 (Jaguars, Browns, Raiders) were all at Louisville too, each with quarterback needs.
In total, Bridgewater (along with potential top safety prospect Calvin Pryor) helped draw 29 of the 32 NFL teams to Louisville's pro day, as well as 6 head coaches, including the Texans' Bill O'Brien. That's a verifiable circus for most pro days. The Steelers, Redskins, and Dolphins were the only teams not at Louisville pro day.
"Me being a perfectionist, it was no where near where I wanted it to be," Bridgewater admitted. "But it's a learning process. I was able to take away some things from those throws and tell myself, ‘Hit the guy on the upfield shoulder,' or ‘Keep a guy in stride.' Overall, I just felt like I had a great day throwing the football."
NFL Network analyst and former Super Bowl XXXIV MVP quarterback Kurt Warner mostly agreed that Bridgewater had a good day but not great.
"Probably not as good as I think he probably expected. I think he missed a few more throws than I think you expect at a pro day ," said Warner. "But he obviously showed us he can make all the throws. I think that's a big part of this process."
Warner said he thinks Bridgewater has the best pocket presence of any of the quarterbacks in the draft.
"I don't really care if a ball is completed or not (at a pro day)," explained Warner. "I look at it and go, ‘Are you throwing the ball where it's supposed to be thrown?'"
Warner did point out the need to fix some footwork though with Bridgewater, as Teddy had mentioned himself during his press conference.
"I'm a firm believer that the less movement you have with your body, whether that be your arm or your feet, the more chance you have to be continually accurate," Warner explained. "One thing with Teddy, I don't see a lot of the transfer, getting the weight into his back foot, then being able to throw more with his body as opposed to his arm. That always affects your accuracy."
The last piece of information from pro day with Bridgewater was his weight. He said Monday he's aiming for 220-225 pounds in the NFL. At the NFL Combine, he weighed in at 214 pounds. He was down to 208 at pro day.
Bridgewater cited catching a cold for the weight loss after leaving his training facility in sunny Florida and arriving back in winter-infested Louisville. Perhaps it was a cold. Perhaps he dropped the weight to run a faster 40-time, but again, the 40 doesn't matter anymore. He ran what he needed to run.
Bridgewater joked it was probably the last 40-yard-dash he'll ever run in his life. He's probably right, but those won't be the last passes he throws before the draft.
And if Bridgewater wants to be the #1 overall pick, that private workout with the Houston Texans will need to be better than his pro day.