As we continue the Acme Packing Company mock draft, we land on the eighth overall pick owned by the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings finished 5-10-1 in the 2013 season, with a three-man rotation of Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Josh Freeman under center. The team started the season with three straight losses before finally notching a 34-27 win over the Steelers in London in Week 4. The Vikings would go on to lose four straight games and ultimately eliminated themselves from playoff contention by the month of November.
The Vikings defense took a step back in 2013, and the offense lacked much firepower other than the occasional big play from Adrian Peterson or Cordarrelle Patterson. The team showed a little spark towards the end of the season when the team handed the reins over to Matt Cassel in Week 13. Cassel displayed the ability to manage the game, and not make the big mistakes that both Ponder and Freeman are bound to make multiple times a game. With arguably the best running back in the league and a talented group of wide receivers and tight ends, the team appears to be a playmaking quarterback away from having a respectable offense that could keep the Vikings in a lot of games in 2014.
With the eighth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select...
Player: Teddy Bridgewater
The Vikings reached for Christian Ponder in the 2011 Draft when they selected him 12th overall, but this time a quality quarterback falls into their laps with the eighth pick. Bridgewater's stock appears to have taken a hit after his lackluster pro day performance, but he may end up being the best pro quarterback in the draft.
Bridgewater finished with 3,970 yards, 31 touchdowns, four interceptions, and a passer rating of 171.1 in his junior season under center for the Cardinals. He would be an instant upgrade to a position the Vikings haven't had a playmaker at since the early days of Daunte Culpepper (we've blocked a certain grey-bearded QB's stint with the Vikings from our collective memory).
Bridgewater is thought of as having a slight build, but appeared to bulk up in the offseason as he measured in at 6' 2-1/8 and 214 pounds at the Scouting Combine. Adding that bulk (and possibly a little more) would be much more durable when he does decide to make plays with his legs. Regardless of his size, Bridgewater would come into a situation where he won't be asked to carry the team on his back. He would likely only have to attempt 20-25 passes a game, with the added benefit of play-action passes with the use of Adrian Peterson as a decoy.
The defense will still be a dumpster fire, and don't be shocked if Zygi Wilf and his ridiculous moustache decide to do something strange instead of making the logical choice at No.8, but Bridgewater would definitely be a difference maker for the Minnesota Vikings in 2014.
Round One Summary
|1||Houston Texans||Blake Bortles||QB||Central Florida|
|2||St. Louis Rams||Jadeveon Clowney||DE||South Carolina|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Khalil Mack||OLB||Buffalo|
|4||Cleveland Browns||Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M|
|5||Oakland Raiders||Sammy Watkins||WR||Clemson|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||Greg Robinson||OT||Auburn|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Mike Evans||WR||Texas A&M|
|8||Minnesota Vikings||Teddy Bridgewater||QB||Louisville|