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Minnesota Vikings draft analysis: Teddy Bridgewater

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Position: Quarterback

Number: 5

College: Louisville

Height: 6-2

Weight: 210

2014 Statistics: 3,970 passing yards, completed 71 percent of passes, 31 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 78 net rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown

My analysis: Bridgewater has a history of success. He was a big part of the Cardinals’ program turnaround. He is accurate when he is in the pocket and when on the move. He can make NFL throws in a clean pocket or under pressure - even when he can’t step into the throw. He has the athleticism and mobility to escape pressure in the pocket. He runs with good balance and uses his hands to avoid tackles. He will turn his back to the pass rush when trying to avoid pressure. He has a tendency to do it too early and give up on the first read. He can make deep throws, but arm strength is not a strength to his game.

NFL.com’s Nolan Nawrocki’s bottom line: A calculated, football-smart, prescision-matchup rhythm passer, Bridgewater would be best suited entering a warm-weather or dome environment such as those most common in the South divisions. Would stand to benefit heavily from operating a short, dink-and-dunk rhythm passing game. Compensates for a lack of elite arm talent and prototype measureables with the intangibles and football intelligence that could elevate the other 52 players around him. Instinctive passer with the laser-beam determination to become a Pro Bowl-caliber passer in the right system.

The skinny: Bridgewater is the quarterback of future. Head coach Mike Zimmer said that all the rookies would begin training camp on the third team and earn their way up the ladder. Bridgewater is likely to move up a rung quicker than most of them. The hope is to have him backup Matt Cassel for at least this season. There will be pressure to get him on the field, but the coaching staff needs to make sure not to rush him. He played in a pro-style offense at Louisville and has the strongest case of any quarterback in this class to start sooner rather than later. Zimmer has said that he will start when he is ready to start.

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