Dual-threat quarterback prospect who has all the tools to be a top five pick come time for the 2014 or 2015 NFL Draft. Solid size at 6’3″ 220 pounds and has great overall athletic ability. Even as a sophomore last year, he looked like an NFL quarterback. He does a great job of surveying the field, and finding the best play available. Very smart quarterback who is humble off the field. He even told the athletic department at Louisville that he didn’t want any type of Heisman campaign in his name in 2013, but that he would rather have something recognizing the whole team. He exemplifies leadership on and off the field, and is the type of player that NFL scouts are really eager to get their hands on right now.
Very quick release and does a great job of going through his reads and progressions. Makes great decisions with the football and finished last year with a completion percentage above 68 percent, which not many sophomores in the country are able to do. Also finished his sophomore season with 27 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. I think that ratio could improve even more in 2013. This is a kid who has made consistent improvements in his overall game, and is arguably the top overall prospect in the country behind South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney.
Really has advanced footwork and anticipation in the pocket. Already has a great feel of what’s going on around him, and took five fewer sacks in 2012 than he did in 2011 despite throwing over 100 more passes. Bridgewater has the look of a top five pick at the quarterback position, and thanks to size and overall room to grow, I think prior to the 2013 season, he grades out as my top overall quarterback prospect, just edging out Tajh Boyd of Clemson. He has a little better size, similar athletic ability, and I think he’s more advanced at this point in the passing game.
In the NFL, Bridgewater could very well be a day one starter, and he could do it coming out after his junior season in 2013.
Durable safety who led the Louisville defense with 88 tackles as a redshirt freshman, and has started 38 straight games to begin his collegiate career. Going into his senior season, the pre-season first-team All-AAC selection and 2012 second team Big East selection looks like one of the best players at his position in the country. Does a great job of leading the defense and making tackles, but the biggest knock on him to this point is just one career interception going into his senior season. He definitely doesn’t have a problem getting his hands on the ball, breaking up 17 passes in his first three seasons as a starter for the Cardinals, he just hasn’t been able to quite finish the play to this point in terms of INTs. This is a guy who is tough, physical, and can give an NFL team another striker who can play in the box and attack downfield. I’m excited to see how he progresses and what kind of athletic measurables he is able to post.
2 LB Preston Brown (6’2″ 255 pounds, SENIOR)
Really solid downhill linebacker who is a thumper on the inside that has the size of a smaller defensive end. Brown was a very productive player as a junior for the Cardinals, racking up 108 tackles, four passes broken up, three tackles for loss, and an interception. He is a run stuffing linebacker who could be a mid-late round pick when he comes out for the 2014 NFL Draft. He doesn’t have great hips in coverage, but he has the ability to be a tough two-down linebacker in the NFL that tackles really well. His biggest flaw as a prospect is his range, but he does a good job of taking appropriate angles and actually was really solid in coverage last year as a junior. If he can improve that area of his game, his stock could rise considerably.
9 WR DeVante Parker (6’3″ 205 pounds, JUNIOR)
Underclassmen but looks like one of the top potential early entry candidates in the nation at the WR position. Parker is a big, long receiver who has good hands and was able to lead Louisville in receiving as a sophomore despite finishing just fourth on the team with 40 catches. He racked up 744 yards, averaging nearly 19 yards per catch, while hitting paydirt a team high 10 times.
Parker has really good deep speed, and does a great job getting separation from defensive backs. Catches the ball away from his body consistently. Definitely needs some refinement in his overall route running ability, but there’s no doubt that he can run a deep pattern and beat defensive backs with his size and speed combination.
This is a great athlete who could wind up emerging as a top junior WR prospect and a potential top 40 selection. Parker has all the qualities you look for in an NFL receiver, but he just needs some fine tuning. He hasn’t completely arrived as a prospect, but he’s close, and playing with Teddy Bridgewater certainly helps. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see both of them bolt for the NFL in 2014.
7 WR Damian Copeland (6’1″ 185 pounds, SENIOR)
Copeland missed the entire 2011 season with an injury, but is a speedy receiver with decent size who led the Cardinals with 50 catches in 2012. He is obviously going to see plenty of touches offensively, and if he can bump up his TD total from 2 to about seven or eight, he could see some looks as a mid-round selection thanks to his excellent speed. Louisville coaches also speak highly of his work ethic, but he could go under-appreciated this season thanks to the emergence of DeVante Parker. Copeland has a real shot to be a solid wideout in the NFL someday, especially if he can build off of a good junior season.