Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville, Jr.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”