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Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' opinion on Bridgewater not just based on pro day

— There probably isn't an NFL draft prospect whose stock has dropped more in the past few weeks than Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Once considered a possible first overall selection, Bridgewater is rated no better than an early second-round selection, according to some draft analysts. A pro day that NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock described as “disappointing” was said to be one reason for Bridgewater's slide.

Bridgewater, who is 6-foot-1 and 196 pounds, decided to go pro after his junior season, during which passed for 31 touchdowns and four interceptions while completing 71 percent of passes for 3970 yards.

However, he displayed poor accuracy and a lack of arm strength in that pro day workout, adding another level of concern for those who were already worried about his somewhat spindly frame.

But Bridgewater's pro day probably didn't alter the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' opinion of him.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht said he and coach Lovie Smith base their prospect grades almost exclusively on what they see on tape and learn during interviews with the player, his teammates and coaches.

“We try not to let the pro day dictate whether a player gets massaged up the board or not,'' Licht said. “For us, opinions only change if Lovie and I haven't really had a chance to see a lot out of the player earlier.

“That's especially the case with underclassmen (such as Bridgewater). I think you can make a lot of mistakes with underclassmen, because the scouts haven't really done a full evaluation on them in the fall.

“So I would say that the pro days and the combine haven't really changed (our opinions). You might tweak (a player's grade and ranking) here and there after them, but (you don't' make any) major moves.''


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