LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The speculation finally comes to an end Thursday night as the NFL Draft gets underway. For months talk has circulated around former University of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. First, he was the number one pick. Now, a few analysts have him not making the first round.
It's stirred up a lot of discussion, but the person who doesn't seem to be rattled by it is Bridgewater himself. The future NFL player seems to take it all in stride and was more concerned about doing something special for his mom this week on her birthday.
In January, an ESPN analyst said of Bridgewater, "He's a very intelligent quarterback. He can beat you inside the pocket with his accuracy."
Nationally and locally, Teddy is still the talk.
"He's going to be the last guy to leave the film room, but he has one shaky pro day," said Dave Jennings, one of the hosts of the sports talk radio show Afternoon Underdogs on 790 KRD.
A caller said of Bridgewater, "Jon Gruden ate him up, I mean he loved Teddy." Tony Vanetti, co-host of Afternoon Underdogs, chimed in, "It's interesting to see how he's fallen off the board." Then Vanetti asked, "or has he?"
It depends on who you listen to.
Bridgewater, who some NFL analysts picked as the number one pick months ago, now has others saying he may have fallen out of the first round.
This week, ESPN The Magazine made Bridgewater their cover boy asking if he's worth a first round pick? The answer was also on the cover. A resounding yes with the question, "Does a bear ___ (you know ___ in the woods)?"
It has fans sounding off on sports radio talk shows like Afternoon Underdogs. Another caller said of Bridgewater, "I think he's going to be fine and I think he'll be in the top 15."
"Teddy makes the non-spectacular NFL throws," Jennings added, "he doesn't have the fancy highlight reel that Johnny Manziel has, but I think he has more NFL ability as a rookie."
While the NFL certainly takes talented troublemakers like Manziel, a laundry list of shenanigans does not come with Bridgewater.
"I think if you have two identical players and then you have one that's a knucklehead and one that's like a Teddy Bridgewater, who's a 4.0 student, graduates in three years and all that, yes it does make a difference!" said Vanetti.
Bridgewater's character is showcased by nearly everyone who saw him grow up in Spike Lee's documentary that's lighting up social media, A Promise to Rose. In it, a former mentor says of Bridgewater, "He was always a student first, he was an athlete second." Another added, "He knew the playbook that had like 100 and something plays."
Along with the Cadillac division of General Motors, Lee helped Bridgewater fulfill a promise he made to his mom Rose when he was 9 years old - a gift of a pink Cadillac Escalade. The fact that the player was his mom's biggest supporter through breast cancer only made the color more special. In the film, Rose is surprised by the gift and says, "You did all this for real?" He tells his mother and best friend, "I love you so much." It was a great birthday and Mother's Day present all rolled into one.
Most people we heard from believe Bridgewater will go in the first round. We'll see what happens when the draft begins May 8.
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