Likely first-round Draft pick Teddy Bridgewater is not very big, for an NFL quarterback. But is he really as spindly and fragile as anonymous NFL scouts would have you believe?
NFL Mock Draft
Let's compare his college BMI (body mass index) of 26.7 (based on his Combine measurement of 6'2 and his pro day weight of 208 pounds, which appears to be his preferred playing size at the moment) to those of other current and soon-to-be NFL quarterbacks, as recorded at the Combine before their Draft days. While BMI is far from the perfect measurement here, as it fails to account for weaknesses in specific players' frames (and it grades most pro athletes as "overweight," though that's another issue), it at least equalizes things enough for a glance.
|Robert Griffin III||28.6|
So, yep, Bridgewater is a somewhat skinny NFL quarterback. He's spreading Russell Wilson-esque mass across an Aaron Rodgers frame.
The knock against that relatively narrow physique, in the minds of analysts, is that Bridgewater could be more susceptible to injury than sturdier quarterbacks would. That he battled through multiple injuries at Louisville and rarely missed playing time either helps or hurts his case -- no one knows.
But let's also note that quarterbacks gain and lose weight accordingly once reaching the NFL. Several of the skinniest quarterbacks on the above list have gained significant weight during their time as pros (while Josh McCown is vanishing before our eyes):
|Years pro||Combine BMI||2013 BMI||BMI gained|
|Robert Griffin III||2||28.6||27.9||-0.7|
So let's say Bridgewater gains a little weight during his first couple years in the league, as is normal for skinny quarterbacks.
For the 19 quarterbacks here who added pounds, the average BMI increase is .58. On Bridgewater's 6'2 frame, that would mean gaining about four pounds, preferably of muscle. For him to gain comparable to the three biggest risers in his starting BMI class (Flacco, Eli Manning, and Weeden), he'd need to play around 214 pounds. Which he already hit at the Combine. If he were to gain a mere 10 pounds and reach 218, he'd have an above-average NFL BMI of 28.
A prospect's frame and mass are legitimate concerns for talent evaluators. And if his knees really are too frail to handle the NFL, then alright. But it's hard to say Bridgewater's overall size rules him out of being one of the NFL Draft's first picks, both since he's not that tiny and since he has room to grow.