Teddy Bridgewater was the third quarterback drafted in 2014, but Shaun King believes he’ll wind up being the best.
“Teddy Bridgewater is going to be a star,” the former Tampa Bay quarterback and current NBC and Yahoo NFL analyst said on The Morning Show with Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney, and Dana Jacobsen on CBS Sports Radio. “I tried to tell everybody he was hands down the best quarterback in this class. If you ask the people in Minnesota, he has been lighting it up throughout the offseason camp. I think he’s going to be the opening day starter. He has the best supporting cast (among rookie quarterbacks) in that he has Adrian Peterson, a very talented young receiver in Cordarrelle Patteron, Greg Jennings, a good tight end in Kyle Rudolph – people are going to be shocked at how much success he has early.”
Then why did Bridgewater fall on so many draft boards this past offseason?
“I was at his pro day – and I tried to tell people this – he did not use the glove at his pro day,” King said. “That may seem like an oversimplification, but when you put the game on, he has the glove on in every game. Sometimes it’s not a complicated thing. He didn’t use the glove for whatever reason on that day, and you could tell that he needs to wear the glove. There’s no shame in that. Peyton Manning wears a glove. Tom Brady wears a glove. They do it.”
And then, well, then King went somewhere that caught everyone by surprise.
“I’ll tell you this,” King said. “This is something a lot of people didn’t say: A lot of teams used his size as a reason that he fell, (but) I’m convinced one thousand percent that some teams are just uncomfortable with Teddy Bridgewater’s appearance.”
King, if you’re curious, isn’t referring to Bridgewater’s slight stature; he’s referring to the color of his skin – an opinion that shocked The Morning Show hosts.
“I’m not saying that it’s full-blown racism,” King said. “I’m not saying it exists all the time. But I’m saying in this instance, it played a role. I’m telling you, appearances matter.”
King added that Bridgewater’s personality – or lack thereof – was also a problem, as people look at quarterbacks as natural leaders.
“He had the least amount of personality in one-on-one interaction,” King said. “I think that hurt him.”
As for Johnny Manziel – the quarterback who went 10 picks before Bridgewater – King summed up his career prediction in two words:
Wow, tell us how you really feel.
“This is what I do know,” King said. “When you make the transition from college to the NFL, you’re going from playing with teenagers to playing with grown men – and the accountability level in the NFL is a lot higher. There’s a lot more scrutiny, and I don’t think he has the intangibles necessary to lead that locker room. People may laugh at the pictures and the partying, but what Tiki (Barber) will tell you guys, where that matters is Week 3 when they’re playing Pittsburgh. Johnny will (make a basic mistake reading coverages). In the locker room, (his teammates) are going to be like, ‘Your butt was taking those pictures partying. You should have been in that playbook.’ That’s where it’s going to all catch up with Johnny.”