Peter Bukowski of SI.com spoke with several scouts, analysts, and front office types in connection with this piece that's well worth your time, the premise of which is finding out which current NFL quarterback is most comparable to Teddy Bridgewater. So what's the answer? It depends who you're asking.
"I've seen a lot of Teddy. I don't have him in [Andrew] Luck's class as a prospect," one veteran NFC scout told SI.com.
"I don't see Bridgewater as a franchise savior like RGIII was in Washington ... Now if he went to the Houston Texans, which is a damn good team already, could he turn them around kind of like the Chiefs did this year? Yeah, he could."
When asked to compare Bridgewater to recent No. 1 picks at the quarterback position, the scout wasn't sold on how Bridgewater stacks up.
"I think when you look at a guy like Sam Bradford, he was damn good in college. I loved that guy. He was pinpoint accurate, with ball placement, timing, arm strength. He had all those areas [better than Bridgewater]."
Sam Bradford? Brett Kollmann finds your lack of faith disturbing, Anonymous NFC Scout. Surely the idea that Bridgwater is "the new Bradford" is an outlier.
In fact, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers team operations coordinator Joe Bussell believes Bradford is the closest comparable recent quarterback to Bridgewater.
"I think a good comparison -- and one that might scare people away -- is Sam Bradford. Bradford's mediocre production in the NFL will frighten some, but if you remove access to those results, Bradford is one of the most highly-touted quarterbacks ever, coming out of the 2010 draft," Bussell explained.
Two Bradford comparisons? Please fetch my whiskey, mother. I'm feeling parched and melancholy.
In fact, the comparison many have favored when speaking of Bridgewater is Russell Wilson, a former third-round pick. Bridgewater is taller, 6-foot-3, but is slight of build and doesn't have the cannon arm of other elite prospects like Stafford or even Bradford. Coincidentally, many said of Wilson at Wisconsin that if he were taller, he would certainly be a first-round pick.
That's better. I could handle Russell Wilson as the Texans' QB. I didn't see Wilson's success in the NFL coming from as far away as this rather smart fellow, but I've been a believer for awhile now. If Teddy Bridgewater has rookie and second seasons like Russell Wilson did, that's an unabashed win for whichever team drafts him (for the record, I hope that team is the Texans).
"He'd have two games on his resume that you feel really comfortable about," former Philadelphia Eagles scout John Middlekauff told SI.com.
"It's so much easier to see a guy in the SEC or Pac-12 and every week he's got Anthony Barr or Will Sutton running at him."
Even so, Middlekauff believes Bridgewater is a legitimate Day 1 starter, but he isn't in the Matthew Stafford category as a talent, and would have been in the mix to be the third quarterback drafted in a year like 2012. As a prospect, in terms of a grade, he believes Bridgewater is similar to Ryan Tannehill, who went No. 8 to Miami in 2012.
Ryan Tannehill, huh? Is that a more flattering comparison than Sam Bradford? I think it is, though perhaps it's because Tannehill just finished his second year in the league as opposed to Bradford's fourth.
Comparisons aside, if you're looking for a more intangible reason to get behind the idea of Teddy Bridgewater (QB--Houston Texans), this may fit the bill:
"All the players, all the coaches, they have an unwavering faith and ability in him," said an NFL scout.
"If there's two minutes left in the game and we're on the 5-yard line, down seven, and Teddy has the ball, we're going to win. That's contagious."
What did we learn? We learned that Teddy Bridgewater isn't Andrew Luck. He may be Sam Bradford. Or Russell Wilson. Or Ryan Tannehill. Most likely, he's Teddy Bridgewater, and no one knows what that will mean in the NFL. Is that enough for you to support the Texans drafting him with the first overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft?