NFL Combine Recap: Quarterbacks

Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville, Jr.


In college:** Bridgewater decided to enter the NFL Draft with a year of college eligibility remaining after leading the nation in completion percentage (71) and ranking fifth in passer efficiency (171.1) as a junior. He started all 13 games and threw for 3,970 yards and 31 TDs with only four interceptions in earning second-team All-American Athletic Conference in 2013. Bridgewater was Big East Offensive Player of the Year in 2012 after starting 12 of the 13 games he played and throwing for 3,718 yards and 27 TDs against eight interceptions. He was named Big East Rookie of the Year after starting 10 of the 13 games he played and throwing for 2,129 yards, 14 TDs and 12 INTs in 2011.

On entering the NFL Draft: "I've always been a goal-oriented person and a goal-drive person, and from the time I was being recruited out of high school, whatever coach that came to recruit me, I told him, 'Hey, look, I want to be on the three-year plan. I want to become a starter as a freshman, be all conference as a sophomore, graduate my junior year and be out the door. I just looked back, and I weighed my options. I looked back and I asked myself, 'Was I able to accomplish all of those goals?' And as I look back, I was. I have my degree, a degree in Sports Administration from the University of Louisville, I was a three-year starter, won a BCS game and won conference player of the year. So as I looked back, I told myself that I accomplished everything that I wanted and it was time to go."

Quotable: "I eat, sleep and breathe football. There's not a moment that goes by that I'm not thinking about football whether it's I'm playing a game, practicing, watching film, even on the video game. A lot of people ask me what I do on the video game. I call it taking virtual reps. Each day, I'm trying to get better. I'm trying to outwork my opponent, outsmart my opponent and just try to be the best quarterback that I can be."

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, So.


In college:** Manziel entered the NFL Draft with two years of college eligibility remaining after two first-team All-SEC seasons (2012-13). Manziel exploded on the scene  at Texas A&M in 2012 after redshirting 2011 and became the first freshman to ever win a Heisman Trophy after accounting for 5,116 yards (1,410 rushing and 3,706 passing), 21 rushing touchdowns and 26 passing TDs. He won the Davey O'Brien Award and was named SEC Offensive Player and SEC Freshman of the Year in 2012. He followed by throwing for 4,114 yards and 37 TDs and added 759 yards and nine TDs on 144 rush attempts in 2013.

Manziel said he wants to prove he's more than an "improviser": "There's times where plays aren't going to go as scripted as people draw them up on the white board. Whenever that does happen and you go through your reads and you do certain things, there's going to be times where you need to take off and get outside the pocket and extend plays," Manziel said. "But at the same time I want to be a guy who can drop back and go through my progressions, go through my reads and really take what's given to me by the defense."

Quotable: "I'm probably one of the most competitive people on the face of this earth, whether it's sitting here playing tic-tac-toe or rock, paper, scissors or whatever it may be, I want to win. It's something that really dating back all the way to being a kid, I don't like the taste of losing, leaves a really sour taste in my mouth. I'm an extremely competitive person, at the same time I want to be a great leader as well."

Blake Bortles, Central Florida, Jr.


In college:** Bortles opted to enter the NFL Draft with one year of college eligibility remaining. He was named first team All-American Conference and AAC Offensive Player of the Year and a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award after throwing for 3,581 yards and 25 TDs against nine interceptions. Bortles threw for 3,059 yards and 25 TDs the previous year, earning second-team All-Conference USA in his sophomore season. He played in 10 games as a redshirt freshman in 2011. Bortles and Daunte Culpepper are the only two UCF quarterbacks to throw for more than 3,000 yards in multiple seasons.

On "belonging" at the combine and opting to throw when other QBs didn't:"Yeah, yeah, 100 percent I do. That's why I'm here, that's why I'm invited. I believe that I can compete with any guy here, and that's why I'm doing everything I'm doing," Bortles said. "That's why I'm throwing, that's why I'm running, doing all this stuff. Why wait till pro day when you have an opportunity to make your first impression here in Indianapolis? I grew up watching this as a kid and dreamed of competing in it, why would I sit anything out and do any of that kind of stuff? Just excited to be here and honored to be here, but definitely believe I belong here."

Quotable: "I have no problem with (continuing to develop). There's no doubt I need coaching, I need help," Bortles said. "I think everybody in the game does. There's reasons why all these greats out there are continuing to play and continuing to work in the offseason and get coached. One hundred percent, I need coaching, I need help and I'm going to work my butt off to do everything I can to be the best that I can be to help a team be the best that they can be."

Derek Carr, Fresno State, Sr.


In college:** Carr boosted his stats in each of the past three seasons and became the first Fresno State QB with three consecutive seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards and the third player in Mountain West Conference history to win back-to-back Offensive Player of the Year awards (2012-13). Carr, the younger brother of 2002 No. 1 overall pick David Carr, led the nation in several categories in 2013, including passing yards (5,082), touchdown passes (50) and completions per game (34.85). Carr's numbers trumped his junior season, allowing him to break the MWC single-season record for passing yards (4,104) he set in 2012. He threw 37 TD passes that season, which was up from the 26 TDs and 3,544 yards he threw for in 2011.

On preparing for this moment: "I've been getting ready for this since I was 3. I've been trained by my dad and my brother. I've been watching NFL film since I was 12. I think, from a mental standpoint, just having David is such an advantage, such a resource. He's done all this, of course social media wasn't around when he was doing this. But it's such an advantage to have him. And my preparation, I'm not 6-6 and I'm not going to run a 4.3, but I will out-prepare anybody."

Quotable: "The No. 1 thing my brother has taught me is, you're going to be praised a lot, you're going to be criticized," Carr said. "Ignore both because neither matter. Just work hard, be yourself, trust the people around you that care about you. Listen to them and continue to work hard like you do."

AJ McCarron, Alabama


In college:** McCarron led the Crimson Tide to two national titles and lost just four games during his college career (all to teams ranked in the top 15). McCarron threw for 3,063 yards and 28 touchdowns against seven interceptions in 2013 when he was second-team All-SEC and third-team All-American, finished second in Heisman Trophy voting, won the Maxwell Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. He threw for 2,933 yards and 30 TDs with just three interceptions in 2012 when he was second-team All-SEC and third-team All-American and led Alabama to its second straight title. McCarron threw for 2,634 yards and 16 TDs in 2011 as a sophomore.

On his "best attribute": "I would think being a winner. Everybody says (I) played behind NFL talent at Alabama. Well, usually in the NFL, what's in the NFL is NFL talent. So I don't see how that can be a knock. I'm a leader. First one in, last one out. And I feel like I've always put us in a good situation to win the ball game."

Quotable: "I feel like I've been disrespected my whole college career. Because I won. That's usually the knock on me. (Can't throw) the deep ball and I won with NFL talent. And it's not like we didn't play anybody. We played in the SEC, which is the best conference in college football. I think somebody figured out I had played against 40-some (defensive) guys who have been drafted from the time I arrived in '09 that are still playing in the NFL. That's a crazy amount of guys. So I definitely have a chip on my shoulder. I'm anxious to get out there and prove everybody wrong."

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