The Minnesota Vikings traded back into the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft in order to select Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with the 32nd overall pick. The Vikings have veteran signal-caller Matt Cassel to start until Bridgewater is able to take over, but it doesn’t seem like the franchise is concerned about waiting long.
New Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer went so far as to suggest he hopes Bridgewater will beat out Cassel and that probably means that the team expects him to do just that.
Another factor is that Cassel and Bridgewater will both be in their first season under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner. So neither guy will have the advantage of knowing the system longer than the other.
Zimmer told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune the following:
Teddy will play when we feel like he’s ready, if he’s the best guy, which we hope that he will be. We always want to have competition.
Bridgewater was reportedly the second quarterback on Minnesota’s board behind Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. The Vikings traded their second- and fourth-round picks (No. 40 and No. 108) to the Seattle Seahawks to jump up and grab Bridgewater with the last pick on the first day of the draft. Manziel had gone off the board to the Cleveland Browns at No. 22.
Bridgewater is the most NFL-ready of the top three quarterbacks from this year’s draft class, but he certainly has problems that need to be ironed out. For an in-depth breakdown of those, check out this piece. But with proper coaching he could solve most of the problems he has.
Zummer and Turner are going to have to figure out if they can get Bridgewater ready to start when the regular season kicks off. But clearly they are open to the possibility.