Media in Minnesota and even many places outside of the state have become enamored with Teddy Bridgewater. However, the fact that the quarterback fell as far as he did in the NFL Draft was a surprise to the Vikings, had the passer rated very high on their draft board.
In a recent article on the Fox Sports website, they recounted a conversation that Vikings general manager Rick Spielman had with the media on Wednesday. During his talk with them, he managed to get a little jab in at the reporters who knocked Teddy Bridgewater for his somewhat disappointing pro day. Here’s what he had to say:
"“I’m thankful the media did him a disservice, in my opinion, last year by judging him in on his pro day,” Spielman said. “But we spent six different occasions with Teddy last year . . . All the information to gather that you use to make your decisions, but it has to come back to what he is, not only as a character but what he is as football player.”"
May 9, 2014; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman (left), linebackerAnthony Barr
, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and head coach Mike Zimmer (right) pose for pictures at Winter Park Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
But Rick Spielman wasn’t the only one that was both a little surprised and pleased by Teddy Bridgewater’s fall on draft day. At the combine on Thursday, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer talked about trying to trade up multiple times to get the young quarterback at the 2014 NFL Draft.
"“We put an unbelievable amount of effort into finding a quarterback and we were extremely fortunate to find this guy,” Zimmer said. “Well, we were trying to move up to get him. We were trying to make a trade to get him. There were a couple of other times we tried to get up to get to where we could get him. But it just happened to work that way with the 32nd pick. We would have kept trying.”"
The persistence by the Minnesota Vikings payed off when they managed to work out a trade with the Seattle Seahawks, who owned the 32nd selection in the draft. However, as fans we never usually get to hear about the failed trade attempts that happen during the NFL draft.
This serves as a message to teams that put too much weight on single events prior to the draft. The Vikings were wise enough to do plenty of research on their potential selections. As much as the Vikings were patient and informed, they were also lucky. Teddy Bridgewater was the third quarterback off the board at the 2014 NFL Draft. In fact, another team had traded in front of them to select a quarterback.
Luckily for the Vikings, that team was the Cleveland Browns. And that quarterback was Johnny Manziel.
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