“What I’m hearing is two things. No. 1, when we saw him throw live we didn’t see arm strength and didn’t see accuracy. No. 2, when you draft a quarterback in the first round you expect him to be the face of your franchise, you expect him to embrace the moment. I think people had some concerns about whether or not this young man is ready to step up and be the face of a franchise.” – Mike Mayock, NFL Network draft analyst, May 1, 2014.
To be blunt, I have to disagree not only with Mayock’s assessment but also his accuracy in determining draft talent. Remember what he had to say about notorious bust JaMarcus Russell the year he was drafted first overall? I sure do:
"This year, I can't get over how good and talented JaMarcus Russell is. It just blew me away. If I had the first, second, third, fourth, fifth pick in that draft, I would be tearing apart his personal life trying to figure out whether or not I could trust this kid with $10-million ... From a physical skill set perspective, I've never seen a college quarterback with more ability than Russell. You put the tape on and it's frightening. The only thing that's going to keep [Russell] from being great is him. What it comes down to is you've got to figure out whether or not this kid wants to be the best quarterback in football. If he wants to be the best quarterback in football, he can be."
And we all know how well that draft pick turned out. The holdout. The overthrown five-yard screen passes. The forty-percent completion percentage. And don’t even get me started on the sizzurp and the diamonds and platinum jewelry he wore around his neck at courtside at Golden State Warriors games.
Bridgewater isn’t the “in your face”, “look at me” attention whore Johnny Manziel is, but neither is Drew Brees and he turned out just fine. I can see Bridgewater succeeding in the NFL. He’s a great kid. He can play the game. He wins games. He also stays out of the headlines for stupid stuff.
Who wouldn’t want that type of NFL player on their team?