Can a pro day erase three years of on-field play?
Can it raise questions about a guy as he heads into the draft?
That’s the question Teddy Bridgewater faces, as he had a less-than-stellar workout at Louisville on Monday.
“I think clearly, in this pro day workout, Teddy Bridgewater took a step backward,” ESPN’s Ron Jaworski said.
In some ways the Twitter and immediate broadcast era magnifies these events. Instead of just being a workout, folks can watch and analyze and react immediately, which gives an alarmist immediacy to what happened.
But when a quarterback works out for scouts and NFL team officials he has everything to his advantage. He is not throwing against a rush, not throwing to unfamiliar receivers. He is on his home field, in a workout tailored to show him at his best.
If he can’t complete passes “on air” (as they say), it’s a concern.
“The vast majority of (pro fays), almost all of them, the QB ends up outperforming what you see on tape,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said. “There's no defense. There's no pass rush. You're in shorts and a t-shirt and it's a scripted workout that you've been working on for 30-40 days with your wide receiver.”
Evidently Bridgewater had trouble.
“He struggled with accuracy, he struggled with velocity on the deep throw and the sideline throws,” Jaworski said. “And the one thing I thought was going to be his trademark was the accuracy -- and he struggled in areas.”
Now comes the question: How does that affect his draft status? And will it affect the Browns thinking at all?
Bridgewater has a boatload of game performances that show him completing 68.4 percent with 72 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. But there has been talk that there is no sure thing among the top three quarterbacks in this draft, and Bridgewater’s throw-against-nobody day did nothing to quell that talk.
“The bottom line is that the teams drafting at the top -- and there were general managers, head coaches, scouts, offensive coordinators from all of those teams here -- they wanted to be wowed and they leave Louisville having not been wowed about what they saw,” McShay said.