The Minnesota Vikings quarterback situation is in need of a drastic upgrade. Christian Ponder, their first round draft pick back in 2011, has shown that he’s not the answer for the organization, and Matt Cassel is an average quarterback at best. This is why the team drafted Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 NFL draft hoping that this time perhaps they hit on the right guy.
If I had to choose who should be worried more between Ponder and Cassel in the drafting of Bridgewater, it would be Cassel. The Vikings have already let the league know that they won’t be picking up the fifth year option on Ponder’s contract, stating that its possible he wont be coming back after this season. Even though the new head coach of the Vikings, Mike Zimmer, said first team reps will be distributed evenly between all the quarterbacks, I have doubt that Ponder will even be able to win the starting job.
In my eyes I see Cassel as the clear starter between the three for now, being an NFL veteran and having the resume of being a quality starter in the league, even with the drafting of Bridgewater. The thing is, the Vikings wouldn’t have taken a quarterback in the first round to only fill out a roster spot. Bridgewater will compete for the starting job even though they want to give it time before playing him, but If it was me I would want to let my quarterback go through the trials and errors of being an NFL starter. In my opinion, real experience is a better way of learning than sitting out a year and watching from the sidelines.
Bridgewater is a great quarterback even though he slipped all the way to number 32 in the draft. He was a starter for the Louisville Cardinals for three years where he put up great numbers even though he comes from a mediocre conference.
In his final season with the Cardinals, Bridgewater helped his team to a 12-1 record with the toughest games being against University Central Florida and the Miami Hurricanes.
If you watch the UCF game, Bridgewater played great. He was able to give his team a huge lead midway in the third quarter but UCF was able to make plays to take the lead back 31-28 with only five minutes left. It was a critical situation where Bridgewater had to drive the ball all the way down the field after failing to score for almost ten minutes. He showed up when he had to and was able to drive the ball and give his team the lead 35-31, but the defense wasn’t able to stop UCF offense allowing them to score and win the game.
Bridgewater has what it takes to be a great NFL quarterback. Even though the teams he has faced haven’t been that good he’s been able to destroy them with his arm with no type of effort, but when he did have quality competition he was able to rise to the challenge.
For instance the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl was where he faced the Florida Gators, one of the best schools in college football, and played exceptionally well. He played great throwing for 266 yards and two touchdowns leading to a 33-23 victory for the Cardinals and showed the nation what he can do.
Going into the 2014 NFL draft Bridgewater was considered the top ranked quarterback in the draft until he failed miserably at his pro-day. It was a drill in shorts where yes, he is supposed to shine, but I didn’t think too much about it.
Look at the tape with him going against the Ohio Bobcats. Bridgewater made every throw possible and showed good pocket presence and footwork, and that’s with pads on.
Cassel is the starter even though reps will be split between the three but Bridgewater even though he is a rookie will be right behind Cassel in getting the job.