In response to TexasPat's comment:
Why do you feel that way? I'm really down on Bridgewater. Thought he was overrated in college. I don't like his mechanics...and I don't like the fact that he played in a rather weak conference. Him flaming out on his pro-day also bothers me. Bortles appears to have more potential. But, I guess time will tell.
It's strange to me that you mention mechanics when making an argument for Bortles over Bridgewater. Bortles has some of the worst mechanics I have ever seen for a guy that could go number one. Same thing for the conference as UCF and Louisville are both in the Big East.
RESPONSE: Not trying to get antagonistic with you...just wondering why you're sold on Bridgewater. I've seen both of them throw, and play. Bridgewater's mechanics appear to be worse. I hate his release. When the two faced each other head to head, Bortel's team won...though it was a close game, that Bortels had to come from behind and win. Frankly, I'm not too thrilled about any of the QBs in this draft, enough to make them top 10 picks. But, I see Bortels as the best of the bunch.
I think at the end of the day a guy's ability to play QB in the NFL can basically be summed up in one scenario: 3rd and long. It's the down and distance where defenses have the biggest advantage and an area where if your QB cannot execute he will ultimately fail. He needs to be able to understand the defense and make quick calculated decisions in the face of an NFL pass rush.
RESPONSE: Agreed...along with avoiding turnovers.
In my opinion the ability to succeed in this scenario requires 3 basic skills: pre-snap awareness, pocket presence and arm strength. To me Bortles represents exactly what is wrong with the QB evaluation process. His rise up the draft ranks has been almost entirely based on workouts that cannot possibly test the first two elements and completely overvalue the third element. Every backup QB in the NFL could succeed in the kind of workouts you see at a pro day (no pass rush and scripted routes). Bortles might have more raw arm talent than Bridgewater, but it doesn't mean anything if your mechanics go to hell or you can't keep your eyes down field and read a defense in the face of an NFL pass rush.
RESPONSE: Bortel's strikes me as a guy with Ben Rethlisberger type talent.
Bridgewater plays in a reasonably sophisticated offense, gets 2 or 3 plays to choose from, makes all the pre-snap reads, sees the entire field and has shown an ability to stay calm in the face of pressure in the pocket. His only "problem" is his arm strength which (despite what some people say) does matter (in obvious passing situations windows are small and you need to be able to drive the ball into tight windows). Frankly he reminds me a lot of Matt Ryan pre-draft.
RESPONSE: He's not as big as Ryan...he's 6'2" and weighs 215.
A guy who carried a not great team, was lauded for his football intelligence and command of the offense, but didn't wow you with his arm talent. Bortles could be a great QB, but it depends on projecting something he hasn't shown consistently on tape which is always a risky venture, but even more so with the QB position.
RESPONSE: Time will tell on these guys. I must admit that I was really concerned by Bridgewater's poor pro-day performance...and yes, I heard Mike Mayock say that the guy who had the best pro-day performance he had ever seen was JaMarcus Russell. But...an experienced college QB like Bridgewater performing that way under pressure bothers me. Who knows...maybe he has some kind of a minor injury which is effecting his play?