The Vikings stayed aggressive on Thursday night, moving back into round one with a trade with the Seattle Seahawks, and drafting QB Teddy Bridgewater, who some said could have gone as early as #1 to the Texans.
Bridgewater had an awful Pro Day, which is what killed him going early in round one. As a pocket passer, he’s going to have to earn his paycheck with his arm and his brains, looking down field for open receivers.
In His first two seasons at Louisville, Bridgewater has had 478 completions for 715 attempts with 5,847 yards and 41 touchdowns.
Bridgewater arrived at Louisville as the No. 2-rated quarterback prospect in the nation by Rivals.com after an accomplished high school career in Miami that included setting the Dade County record with seven touchdown passes in a single game. He was second team All-State 6-A and played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
Bridgewater, who succeeded former Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris at Northwestern High School, also originally committed to Miami before ultimately landed at Louisville.
Bridgewater wasted no time in making a major impact at Louisville. He was the first true freshman to play quarterback for the Cardinals since Brian Brohm in 2004, and the first true freshman quarterback to start since Stu Stram in 1976.
He set the school freshman passing record with 2,129 yards to go along with 14 touchdowns in being named the Big East Rookie of the Year in 2011. Bridgewater completed 64.5 percent of his passes, although he did throw 12 interceptions.
Bridgewater continued his ascent as a sophomore, being named Big East Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 3,718 yards with 27 touchdowns. He had six 300-yard passing games and two of 400-plus. Bridgewater was named the MVP of the Sugar Bowl after passing for 266 yards and two touchdowns in a win over third-ranked Florida.
With Louisville suffering its only loss of the 2012 season to Central Florida, Bridgewater was relegated to second-team all-conference honors. He finished the regular season with 2,309 passing yards and 14 touchdowns, and then tacked on another 447 yards and three touchdowns in Louisville’s 36-9 romp over Miami in the Citrus Bowl.
While Bridgewater’s arm is impressive, the poise, vision and touch he demonstrates could serve as a “how-to” video on effective quarterback play.
Critics will continue to point out Bridgewater’s flaws. He is not as big or strong as Andrew Luck nor as nimble as a healthy Robert Griffin III. Among the quarterbacks potentially available in the 2014 draft, he’s the most polished and accurate.