Teddy Bridgewater, DeVante Parker, Duke Johnson and the Russel Athletic Bowl: “Teddy Bear Time!”
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Image via KYLures/Flickrremi

I know what you’re thinking.

“Teddy Bear Time?  What the hell are you talking about Jon?”

Honestly, I’m not sure.  Maybe it’s because I was gifted a lot of alcohol for Christmas (what’s my family trying to tell me?) that I’m feeling a little silly.  Okay, truthfully, “Teddy Bear” is 9X more popular of a Google search than “Teddy Bridgewater” so I’m trying to steal traffic that way.  Gotta get it how, when and where you can, right?  And, no, there won’t be a New Year’s resolution to stop.  Because we caaan’t stooop and we wooon’t stooop.  But, I digress…

With the NFL regular season winding down and the college football bowl season in full swing, we at RotoViz are beginning to transition our focus from 2013 to 2014. In particular, we’re in the middle of a series of Bowl Game Previews calling your attention to intriguing players in each contest. Here are the ones we’ve done so far (they still make for good reads):

If college football isn’t your cup of tea, why did you click on this article in the first place? you can look ahead to next football season with my article Dynasty Fantasy Football: Speculative Adds for 2014. Or you can do what I do and spend your life playing with the RotoViz College Career Graph WR App.  But really, was it the Teddy Bear that got you?

The Russell Athletic Bowl

Louisville (11-1, American)

Back in August I named Teddy Bridgewater my preseason Best Quarterback Prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft.  As you can see below, Bridgewater has maintained his high standard of play that landed him atop my rankings.

QB Year Age % games w/ multi-TD passes C0mp % TD % INT % AdjY/A
Bridgewater, Teddy 2013 21 80% 70.6% 7.4% 1.8% 9.6
Bridgewater, Teddy 2012 20 71% 70.7% 5.8% 1.8% 10.1
Bridgewater, Teddy 2011 19 14% 64.2% 3.5% 5.0% 5.4

Ordinarily I like to see guys continue to progress during their college career, whereas Bridgewater holds steady on many of his metrics.  That said, it’s important to remember how amazing these numbers are and how it would be difficult to do much better.  For instance, Bridgewater has back-to-back 70% completion percentage season.  By comparison, only 11 other 70%+ seasons exist in my database.  Andrew Luck is the only other person to post two 70% seasons.  Until further notice, he’s my favorite QB prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft.

On the receiving end of many of those passes is 20 year old DeVante Parker.  He’s announced that he might (not) turn pro depending on the draft grade he receives from the advisory committee.  Personally, I think he’s just going to do whatever Teddy does.  But here’s where the real intrigue lies…If Parker leaves for the NFL Draft he will finish his college career at age 20, having amassed 27+ career touchdowns.  Only ten men from 2005-2012 accomplished the feat of amassing 20+ career TDs when concluding their college career at age 20.  Here are a few that match his accomplishment, age, and body type.

Pretty impressive group, eh?  Note that DeVante comes thisclose to passing the Eric Decker test.

Miami (FL) (9-3, ACC)

See what I did there?  I used the (FL).  If my alma mater has to “Miami (OH)” then the one in Florida has to be “Miami (FL)”.  After all, we came 116 years before them.

Some people want to say that Stephen Morris is under the radar, but I think he’s where he should be.  Based on the numbers I like to look at, Morris is a ways away from Bridgewater.  I’m encouraged to see his TD% and AYA move in the right direction, but his completion % remains disturbingly low and his INT% moved dramatically in the wrong direction this year.  I’ll pass, but don’t be surprised if he’s especially sharp in this game, trying to prove his merits on the same field as Teddy.  Real quick, scroll back up and compare these with Bridgewater.

QB Year Age % games w/ multi-TD passes Comp % TD% INT% AdjY/A
Morris, Stephen 2013 21 71% 59.6% 6.0% 4.6% 8.3
Morris, Stephen 2012 20 50% 55.5% 4.6% 2.0% 7.7

Even though he’s hurt and not draft eligible until next season, I want to give props to RB Duke Johnson who earned Second-Team All-ACC recognition despite missing the last four games of the season due to an ankle injury.

I want to throw out the name Allen Hurns before concluding.  He’s a grinder who has come along slowly before making a run at Miami’s single season receiving record in his final college season.  Here are a few NFL WRs that seem similar:

If you thought this article was stupid, awesome, or somewhere in between, continue this conversation with me on Google+ or Twitter

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