The Scouting Combine definitely isn’t football. The Pro Day workout, while closer to football, still isn’t football.
The challenge for teams becomes placing the right emphasis on the outcome of a Scouting Combine or Pro Day workout. For Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, who opted not to do anything at the Scouting Combine and instead went all in for his Pro Day, the mixed reviews become a red flag.
As one source whose team falls within striking distance for Bridgewater tells PFT, it’s tougher to look bad than it is to look good at a scripted quarterback workout. As to Bridgewater, the assessment was more negative than positive.
It could have been the product of nerves. It may have happened because Bridgewater shed his glove. Or it may be that Bridgewater shines when what’s happening is football. Even practice is a lot closer to real football than throwing passes with no coverage, no rush, no blitz, no blown blocking assignments. It’s a backyard pitch-and-catch session with prospective employers watching.
Bridgewater continues to be regarded as the most NFL ready quarterback prospect in this year’s draft. But while his floor may be higher, his ceiling may be lower.
Every college player has a ceiling between college football and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. For Bridgewater, his Pro Day performance could be interpreted by some as evidence that the ceiling may not be high enough. For those who already have decided they love the kid, a way will be found to explain/excuse the result.
And he’ll still have chances to redeem himself via individual workouts with teams. Those sessions won’t be televised and scrutinized.
Then again, every NFL game he plays will be. On the higher stage, will he be able to perform like he did before a smaller audience in college? We won’t know until it’s time to suit up and play. And if there were a way to know these things, the future Hall of Famers always would be the first two or three players taken in each and every draft.
Here’s the full interview of Bridgewater, conducted by Shaun King and aired on Monday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN.