Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today, per Ian Rapoport. The Bucs have shown a lot of interest in a lot of different quarterbacks this offseason, including meeting with Jimmy Garoppolo twice, showing interest in Brett Smith at his pro day, hosting Garrett Gilbert for a visit, meeting with Johnny Manziel and noting that there are franchise quarterbacks to be had in this draft. And then there's the link between offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford and Derek Carr, whose brother played for Tedford, and who himself received some offseason coaching this past year from Tedford as well.
It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Buccaneers will draft a quarterback at some point in the 2014 NFL draft. It's just a question of who, and where. Personally, I'd prefer Teddy Bridgewater out of all the draft prospects. While his physical gifts leave something to be desired, specifically his frame, Bridgewater has repeatedly shown many of the traits NFL passers need.
The pocket movement, the pre- and post-snap decision making, the accuracy, the awareness, the reactions to pressure and the ability so make plays outside of the pocket. In effect, the Louisville quarterback has shown that he has developed the skills of a professional quarterback. The question is whether that's enough to compensate for just okay height, a very skinny build and a mediocre arm. I would say it is -- but I'm not the one making the decisions for the Bucs.
Making things more difficult for us professional prognosticators is the fact that we don't know what the Buccaneers want. Lovie Smith has consistently emphasized mobility and avoiding turnovers. Bridgewater displays those skills, but so do several other passers. We don't really know what Jeff Tedford wants, either. His offenses in the past have been very structured, and required an intelligent passer capable of quick decision making. But then, will his NFL offense resemble his college offenses? And if so, will they resemble his more recent spread-based offenses with read-option elements?
We can't answer those questions, not really. And without knowing the answers to those questions, all we know for certain is that they've shown some interest in a slew of quarterbacks -- the latest of them being Bridgewater.