Bridgewater, the record-setting Louisville quarterback, will enter the 2014 NFL Draft after leading the Cardinals, though an official announcement was not made.
NFLDraftScout.com ranks Bridgewater as the No. 1 overall pick in the May draft and the top quarterback prospect. A strong candidate to be the top player selected in the draft, Bridgewater is already known to have many suitors. The Jacksonville Jaguars sent multiple scouts to several of his games in 2013.
In three years at Louisville, Bridgewater passed for 9,817 yards with 72 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. The Cardinals are 30-9 during that time with three bowl berths and two conference championships.
Bridgewater is a pro-style quarterback and, in what is a rarity in college football, took most of his snaps under center as a dropback passer. He would be the ideal fit in new Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien's offense if the franchise invests the top overall pick in a quarterback.
Bridgewater has reportedly spoken with Roc Nation, which is owned by Jay-Z, about representation.
Jay-Z's firm was previously linked to South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and UCLA redshirt sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley. Clowney declared for the '14 draft following South Carolina's victory in the Capital One Bowl on Wednesday.
According to the National Football Post, Hundley's father denied that his son was in contact with Roc Nation, but the site claims multiple sources maintain there were inquiries by representatives for Hundley.
NFLDraftScout.com currently projects four quarterbacks could be drafted in the top 10 picks, including Bridgewater, Fresno State's Derek Carr, Texas A&M redshirt sophomore Johnny Manziel and UCF's Blake Bortles (undecided). Senior analyst Rob Rang describes Hundley as a raw talent with blue-chip potential.
The need for arm talent is excessive and could drive decisions of Hundley and Bortles, who aren't finished products but could jump at the opportunity to be a top-15 pick.
Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Tennessee and Chicago -- pending Jay Cutler's contract status -- own top 14 picks and could be in the market for franchise-caliber quarterbacks.
Underclassmen must declare for the NFL draft by January 15.