Grading the Minnesota Vikings’ First-Round Selection of Teddy Bridgewater
There was no denying that the Minnesota Vikings needed to address the quarterback position during the 2014 NFL Draft, and they did just that when they traded up to No. 32 to snag Louisville signal-caller Teddy Bridgewater.
Heading into the draft, the Vikings’ only options at quarterback were Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder. Cassel was a solid passer last season, leading Minnesota to a few wins but proving to be nothing more than a stop-gap. Ponder proved himself to be a bust after the Vikings made him their first-round pick back in 2011. Based on that assessment, the team couldn’t continue to settle on mediocrity.
That’s where Bridgewater comes in.
Although he’s not expected to supplant Cassel as the starter right away, Bridgewater is the assumed quarterback of the future in Minnesota. Prior to his poor Pro Day performance, many considered him the top quarterback of the 2014 draft class – I still do.
Bridgewater is easily the most NFL-ready quarterback of the class. Not only does he possess great accuracy, solid pocket presence and the leadership skills to carry an offense, but he’s athletic and has all of the awareness you’d expect from a pro passer. Many will cite his Pro Day as evidence of why many of those reasons are off the mark, but you can’t base an entire assessment off of one performance in shorts and a t-shirt. People have bad days – it’s called being human.
Put simply, the Vikings got a steal by drafting Bridgewater at No. 32. He’s the best passer of the 2014 draft class, and will pay dividends for Minnesota in the next few years.
Just you watch.