It's a silly season for the NFL and you need to be care. Around this time of year, teams will begin leaking erroneous information for the futile hope that their targeted prospect will fall in the NFL draft. It's futile because most teams will rely on their own scouting and information; not what anonymous NFL sources (aka, front offices) say publicly about a player.
On the other end of the spectrum, the same number of reports will over-inflate a prospect to increase their stock. Those reports are usually sourced back to that respective prospect's agent.
Daniel Jeremiah with the NFL Network tweets that "I know several teams that don't view" Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as a first-round player. Bridgewater finished with 31 touchdowns and four interceptions in '13 and 72 touchdowns against 24 picks in his three-year collegiate career.
There are concerns about his size -- notably his lack of bulk being less than 200 pounds and 6-foot-3 (is that it?).
"He's not in the same class as some of the elite guys we've seen come out over the last few years," Jeremiah said this week on Fox Sports' Peter Schrager Podcast. "He's not Cam [Newton], he's not Andrew Luck. I liked 'RG3' [Robert Griffin III] better when he came out, as well. I do like him better than anyone we had in last year's draft class. If he does come out, I see him getting elevated above his ability."
It's doubtful that Bridgewater falls to No. 24, where the Bengals select in the first round. If he does, we enthusiastically doubt that the Bengals will pull the trigger on him, despite the need for a quality backup quarterback who could develop under Andy Dalton -- who is entering the final year of his four-year rookie deal.
That doesn't mean that Cincinnati won't look to the draft to select a quarterback. Players like LSU's Zach Mettenberger, Alabama's A.J. McCaron, Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Georgia's Aaron Murrey (recovering from an injury) are projected anywhere between the third and fifth rounds.
Even Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could factor as a second-rounder, but his stock figures to improve after standout practices leading to the East-West Shrine game, along with a strong performance playing five possessions, completing nine of 14 passes for 100 yards passing and a touchdown.
Garoppolo stood out as the best player during the week of practice and he put together a strong performance during the game on Saturday. He showed very quick feet in his setup, a lightning-quick release and accuracy to all three levels. I was very impressed with the command and poise he displayed in the pocket. He has built up a lot of momentum heading into the Reese's Senior Bowl (Jan. 25 on NFL Network).
Quarterback Josh Johnson is signed through 2014, but he was primarily a Jay Gruden prodigy. Competition is healthy (and needed) at the quarterback position this year, even if it's for the backup spot.
There's plenty of time to figure these things out. Along with the upcoming senior bowl, there remains the NFL Combine, Pro Days, visits, interviews, and work outs before the NFL draft in early May. Just be careful reading some of the reports from the silly season.