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Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Combine Five, No. 2: Teddy Bridgewater

By Pat McManamon

Player: Teddy Bridgewater (going in alphabetical order)

Position/College: Quarterback, Louisville

Combine impression (1-10, 10 the best): Seven.

Likelihood he’s there at Cleveland Browns' No. 4 pick: 80 percent.

Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater threw for 9,817 yards, 72 touchdowns, and just 24 interceptions at Louisville.
Other teams interested: Houston (first), Jacksonville (third), Oakland (fifth)

The skinny: Bridgewater weighed in at 214 pounds at the combine, nine pounds more than his playing weight at Louisville.

Even he admitted he had trained for the combine.

“It was a huge focus,” he said of putting on the added weight. “I’ve been working hard with my eating habits, my weight-room lifting and everything.”

Let it be said that this is one of few times where “eating habits” related to putting on weight rather than taking it off. But that is Bridgewater’s burden as he heads to the draft. He had a sterling career at Louisville, throwing for 9,817 yards, 72 touchdowns and just 24 interceptions. His final season he threw for nearly 4,000 yards.

But his wiry frame has many wondering how long a career he can have in the NFL. Bridgewater makes Barkevious Mingo look stocky.

Bridgewater said he started at Louisville at 222 pounds. But he needed surgery on his jaw to fix his bite, a procedure that involved breaking his jaw to correct the overbite. When that happened, he couldn’t eat for two months and lost weight.

“I just have to get back adjusted,” he said, “to eating the right foods and everything and controlling my eating habits.”

Bridgewater is an affable, engaging guy with a quick release and a strong arm. He completed 78 percent of his passes as a senior. He can run if he has to, and he can move in the pocket. Most feel he’s the most NFL-ready quarterback given the system he played in in college.

But that body frame has many wondering if he should be taken in the top five.

The fact that Bridgewater himself made such an effort to put on that weight shows he’s aware of the issue.

“I just feel that to play the position you have to have durability,” he said. “I just want to prove that I can put on that weight and I’m one of those guys that can last a full NFL season.”

The others: Blake Bortles