While the rest of the world is busy debating his hand size and the way his torso moves when he throws an 8-yard out to the left side of the field, Sports Illustrated has named Teddy Bridgewater as its top prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The publication had been counting down the 64 best players in the draft for the past couple of weeks, and wrapped up that countdown today.
The more I go back and rewatch Bridgewater tape, the less willing I am to drop into the seemingly common perception that he hads some abnormally low ceiling, and that he'll top off pretty quickly in the NFL. Most of his deep ball issues can be fixed by the kinds of coaching and strength training that all kinds of quarterbacks (Drew Brees and Tom Brady come immediately to mind) have benefited from in obvious ways. And yes, he played at about 190 pounds through the final bit of his 2013 season, but showing up weighing 214 pounds at the combine was a definite statement. And yes, he really blew it at his pro day ... but let's be real here: Any NFL executive who will throw multiple scouted games out the window based on a shirt-and-shorts session, whether positive or negative, is probably on his way out the door.
Is Bridgewater the perfect collegiate quarterback? No. There are clearly things he needs to work on, which is true of just about every quarterback prospect. But when it comes to combining innate skills and developmental potential in an NFL view, it's hard for me to put anyone above Bridgewater. He already has a lot on the ball, and with time and patience, he could be the kind of quarterback that defines a franchise.
The experts all seem to agree: Teddy Bridgewater will be selected somewhere between No. 1 overall and mid-7th round.