Dec 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) gives instructions during the first quarter of the Russell Athletic Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns #4 NFL Draft Pick: Who Would I Take?


My rundown through the entire first round of the NFL draft continues as I examine the Cleveland Browns who hold the #4 pick in the first round.

The Pick:  Teddy Bridgewater – QB – Louisville

Choosing not to throw at the scouting combine has a lot of experts questioning whether his draft stock will suffer but Teddy Bridgewater remains one of the best quarterback prospects in the country.  He has good height, a polished game with arm strength and accuracy to go along with back-to-back bowl victories in which he played some of his best football.  He is ready to go pro more than anybody else at his position.

Why:  Mike Pettine needs a quarterback to legitimize his tenure

The reasoning is obvious enough.  The Cleveland Browns have not had stability at the quarterback position for years thanks in large part to changes at the top from ownership down the coaching staff.  New head coach Mike Pettine can’t afford to rework his defense until he has somebody in place who will command the offense.  Bridgewater fits the Browns’ profile of finding somebody who can step in right away and play well provided the team does a good enough job surrounding him with talent.

Argument:  Johnny Manziel has more charisma and beat better teams

There are some debates to be had about the Browns possibly pursuing a higher rated player but the fact is the best argument is whether or not they should take Texas A&M standout Johnny Manziel.  Indeed the young quarterback has that confidence the best ones boast.  He’s a natural playmaker, elusive, cool under fire with terrific charisma that bleeds into his teammates.  The success of Russell Wilson certainly lends credence to his chances despite standing just 5’11″.

Counter-argument:  Bridgewater has the physical tools and intelligence

There is no question Russell Wilson deserves credit for the success in Seattle but not the majority of it.  That goes to a transcendent Seahawks defense.  Whether Wilson prove to be more than a dynamic game manager remains unclear.  In the mean time Bridgewater has the physical and mental tools to not only play well in the pros, but carry a team on his back like he did at Louisville.  Questions about his slender frame and somewhat quieter personality are nitpicks.  He is ready to go and the Cleveland Browns should see that.

That is why I would take Teddy Bridgewater if I were in charge.  What are your thoughts?

Tags: Cleveland Browns Johnny Manziel Mike Pettine NFL Draft Teddy Bridgewater

  • Jared Mueller

    I like Bridgewater, wonder if he will drop though like Geno Smith last year. He went from assumed #1 to second round. Could TB? Whats the drop off from him to AJ or other second tier guys?

    • Erik Lambert

      Teddy isn’t like Geno because he’s far more consistent. Their builds are the same but Bridgewater plays the position much better. His biggest drawbacks are a thin frame, hand size and uncertainty regarding his leadership ability.

      • Linda Kelly

        Those are huge drawbacks on Bridgewater. We need Manziel, an SEC star, winning QB. We need excitement is Cleveland not shy, boring, shy QB. Johnny Football is a winner with charisma.

        • Erik Lambert

          They are not huge because Bridgewater has already bulked up from where he was and it’s impossible to measure leadership qualities until he’s in the locker room and the huddle. The hand size is a nitpick at best. Manziel talks a lot but he gets by on flash. When faced with some real defensive tests he hasn’t looked particularly great, or even good whereas Bridgewater has played some of his best games against great defenses.

  • Gary

    I too prefer Bridgewater over Manziel.
    I hope the browns choose wisely and don’t sign us another Weeden.

    • Erik Lambert

      Weeden was taken too early and played too early. Bridgewater will get a fresh start if he lands in Cleveland where they can really begin building a winner.

      • Gary

        I don’t think it mattered with Weeden. He just simply sucked.
        If the browns select Bridgewater I only hope they let him learn for a season before tossing him in there. I would feel a lot safer with a better offensive line, but as it is now we can’t afford to send another rookie out there just to get killed.

        • Erik Lambert

          Very true. I have a feeling Cleveland is going to do some spending in free agency to fix that problem before the draft.

          • Gary

            We can only hope

          • Erik Lambert

            The element of unknown with Ray Farmer certainly makes it interesting.

  • Letterman007

    I’m not sure any of these QBs are worth that high of pick? There will be better ones next year, however they should take one this year, but in a later round . Watkins is the pick at 4 if he’s still there, he is a legit top 5 pick! Like so many have said its a question of value !! If there were a Luck or even a Cam Newton available I’d say go ! But there isn’t and you must go with the value of the player!!

    • Erik Lambert

      Then who do they go with? Brian Hoyer? Keep in mind that was with Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner guiding the way when he played well. Ownership shook things up because they weren’t winning quickly enough. They need a quarterback. Free agency is thin, as is the trade market. If they don’t go after a one of the top four in the first round I don’t see the Browns competing in 2014, not in that division.

      • Letterman007

        So you go with someone who could turn out to be Quinn, Frye, Weeden, don’t say oh, they are better than that. Because you don’t know!! Not for sure! How about two QBs, McCarron in the third round and Connor Shaw in the seventh!! Now you have two chances of hitting it right! Then you still have Watkins ay 4 and whoever you get at 26 and 35. Quite a hall and a sure fire game breaker and catching mate for Gordon!! And two QBs to teach in the hopes one will come through!! It’s a no brainier!!

        • Erik Lambert

          Don’t forget Quinn and Weeden were taken later for a reason, and so will McCarron and Shaw: because their chances of succeeding at the pro level are limited at best. I think the reason people are afraid of the Browns selecting a quarterback early is because of the Tim Couch disaster back in ’99. You say this current group at the top aren’t guarantees, well neither are the ones in 2015. The bottom line is the Browns can only have so many losing seasons before they have to take that chance on a high quarterback over constantly settling for later names. I feel Bridgewater is talented and smart enough to become that franchise guy. You don’t agree and that’s fine. It’s merely my take.

          • Letterman007

            If they take Bridgewater and he turns out to be no better than Hoyer, then what? Look at their previous high picks, Richardson, Mingo, not exactly all pro performers!! Mingo may work out but that high in the draft, you should be better!! I will graciously leave the Weeden pick, although in the first round, alone!! There is no one saying Watkins isn’t a game breaker and everyone is saying he’s the next A J Green or Julio jones, a can’t miss at a position of need!!! The big three QB’s are not can’t miss, we have to stop wasting high picks !!

          • Josh Hart

            A #1 WR isn’t a position of need for the Browns. They need a reliable #2. If Bridgewayer goes on to be a great QB, everyone, you included, will be crying that the Browns screwed up another draft and missed their franchise QB. WR is so deep this year I’ll take a chance on a QB I love over a WR at pick 4.

          • Letterman007

            If you are a defensive coordinator what would would scare you more, seeing Gordon split left and Watkins right, or Gordon left and Jarvis Landry right?? I think Watkins would be more fearsome. Plus, these quarterbacks ALL seem to need a lot of skill people around them!! Besides if Gordon messes up again and sits for a year, then Watkins or Landry or the like!!?? The way Farmer is talking about curveballs and all, don’t be surprised if Watkins isn’t the pick at 4 !!!

          • Josh Hart

            Sure that would be scary, but what will win you more games. 2 good WRs or a great QB? It’s a QB driven league and you don’t go anywhere without a good one at the helm.

            I completely understand where you’re coming from and won’t be upset if Watkins is the pick. I’d like to see him on our team. I just value Bridgewater higher if he’s available there.

          • Letterman007

            I don’t know why you are so sold on Bridgewater, just read an article where two prominent NFL GM’s said he wasn’t that great, his legs are too skinny and he didn’t play against the best competition in the conference he was in!! This was among other reasons as hands too small and I could go on!! That’s a lot of IFS and there were more!! Just not worth a pick at 4!!!!

          • Gary

            The Browns would have the best corners in the league if they took Watkins to compliment Gordon. I don’t think any team could keep them both covered

          • Letterman007

            Thank you, I too believe that this is the road to go here and that another quarterback or two can be chosen in the later rounds to see if they could be the answer!! The ones chosen later have as many questions about them as the top three or four do!! Hoyer should start anyhow unless one of them is SOOOO GOOD that he beats Hoyer out!!

    • Josh Hart

      Every year people say “they’ll be better QBs next year.” I don’t think anyone can say that this year. This class has some great QB’s coming out and Teddy is at the top of the list. Who knows who will come out next year. You play and draft for this year, not next, especially when this is one of the greatest/deepest drafts ever.

      • Letterman007

        Do you guarantee, without reservation , that Bridgewater is that franchise QB!! Do you really think that he is as good as Luck? Does he have the ceiling that Watkins has!? Of the two, which one will impact the team that drafts him most? We blew the Julio Jones deal and ended up with Weeden ! No thank you I’ll take the sure thing and at a position of need! Pettine likes Hoyer and he’s progressing ahead of schedule! Read below where I wrote we get two QBs later in the draft! If we are going to take a chance on a QB let’s not blow a first rounder again!!

        • Josh Hart

          The Luck/Manning QB comes around once every 10 years. You can never “guarantee without reservations” any player coming into the NFL. I believe Teddy has the potential to be a great QB. I like Watkins a lot. He looks to be a great WR, but I’ll take the franchise QB over him anyday.

  • paulbip

    Take Teddy if there. If not, take Garappolo later.

    • Latin 54

      IMO:
      #4 pick – Watkins
      #26 pick – best OL, guard or tackle available
      2nd rnd – Carr or Garoppolo
      3rd rnd – best Rb available, best OL available
      4th – 7th rnds – best available DB, LB, DL, OL
      Sign the FAs Mack and Ward

      Offensive line must be a priority

      • paulbip

        I can live with your draft and I’ll tweek it
        Watkins
        Garoppolo
        Yankey (smart and can play any position on OL)
        Hyde (probably gone) or Hill from LSU (same type of back)

        • Jarod Cook

          Seeing as how the Browns just released DQJ. I think they’re going to trade down and take a LB with there first pick. Rummer has it they’re sold on Carr at 26/35.This is how I see them drafting as of now.
          Trade back #8-12 grab LB
          #26/#35 Carr and OL flip flop to your preference
          From trade #39-43 Mason, Hyde, WR
          Also probably get at least another 4th rounder this year or combination of 1/2/3/4 next year. Do you still see them staying put at #4 taking Watkins or a QB or trading back getting LB and more picks?

  • Jarod Cook

    I prefer Bridgewater over Manziel but not worthy of being picked #4 overall. If Watkins is there at #4 take him, IMO best overall player in the draft (highest ceiling). Also don’t forget on slip up by Gordon and he’s out for the year, be nice to have Watkins in that situation. If he’s not there at #4 try to trade down and pick Evens, CB, LB, will also stoke pile more picks. The QBs in this draft are overrated just because they’re QBs. IMO best thing they could do is get more weapons on offense/defense, give Hoyer a chance and draft a QB in the 3rd/4th round. Also if Kenny Guiten doesn’t get drafted (don’t think he will) give him a chance as undrafted free agent.

  • paulbip

    I think the move on DQ was in the works for some time. The guy was not worth all that money. Trade down and draft a LB? Why not. If going that way, the trade had better not go beyond the Minn. pick. Even there, you may not get Barr or Mack but probably have Mosely at ILB. Even with DQ, the need was great at ILB. How is this for a QB pick, take Mettenberger with the 2nd 3rd round pick. He’s a big guy with the strongest arm in the draft.