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?