The Teddy Bridgewater hype train's off the tracks. Bridgewater was the consensus No. 1 quarterback before the 2013 NFL season and now he's not even a good bet for the first round.
Over the past month he's been torn to shreds -- and, as CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora wrote Wednesday, has handled it admirably -- with the latest anonymous criticism being that he's not a good "face of the franchise." CBS Sports analyst and former Raiders CEO Amy Trask doesn't appreciate that sentiment and wants anyone making that claim to "put your name on it."
"Is anyone other than me absolutely, positively offended by what we've been reading and hearing the past week or so about, ‘We're not sure he can be the face of the franchise'?" Trask asked. "Not only do I find it offensive, but if you're going to say something like that about a young man whose career is about to start, put your name on it. Put your name on it. Don't say he can't be the face of your franchise but that's off the record.
"You want to say that? Put your name on it and I find it offensive."
It is offensive. How can anything about Bridgewater not be considered the "face of the franchise"? Dude is a little soft-spoken but if that's your biggest complaint, well, you need to rethink your level of criticism. (And yes, there's a whole different complex layer of issues underlying here.)
Perhaps Bridgewater will still go in the first round. La Canfora reported in the same segment (watch above) that the Browns commissioned an expensive study to figure out what you need for a franchise quarterback, and Bridgewater tested quite well.
"The Browns commissioned a study, guys. They spent over $100,000. This started when Joe Banner was still there a year ago, when they were looking at the 2014 NFL Draft," La Canfora said. "They looked at film, they looked at every analytic they could get, had this outside consulting company do it to figure out what goes into making a quarterback successful. This study pointed to Teddy Bridgewater, by far, as having the best metrics of anyone in this draft, even though they play in Cleveland, even though they have the wind and all of that."
The wheelhouse for Bridgewater is No. 26 to the Browns. If they don't take him for some reason, there's ample opportunity to trade back into the first round, with the Panthers and Patriots looming as potential partners later in the draft.
Ultimately, despite the heavy criticism, Bridgewater could end up becoming a steal.