After a long and arduous road, as well as an offseason filled with turmoil, Bridgewater finally found a home in the NFL. Not only that, but he was immediately put into a great place to be successful during his rookie campaign.
The Louisville product was met with a great deal of criticism after his lackluster pro day. He didn't look comfortable, wasn't accurate and didn't resemble anything close to his college film.
In the aftermath, his draft stock plummeted.
It appeared as though no one viewed him as the quarterback who trounced Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl, completing 35 of his 45 passing attempts for 447 yards and three touchdowns, as well as one rushing touchdown.
Just in case that memory is a distant one, here's a quick look back:
Apparently, the Vikings remembered his college tape, and they'll reap the benefits.
Bridgewater is an intelligent, accurate quarterback who is a solid decision-maker and proven winner. He comes with a great deal of experience under his belt and has a great chance to succeed with the Vikings.
Why is this?
First of all, ask yourself one question: Who is a rookie quarterback's best friend?
The answer to that would be a solid running back.
Minnesota has the best in the game in Adrian Peterson. The electrifying running back has thrived in an offense that has barely ever seen an efficient aerial attack. Imagine what he'll do with a competent signal-caller in the fold.
When the Vikings aren't running the football, Bridgewater has a plethora of talent at his disposal.
Greg Jennings is a seasoned veteran who has played with some of the NFL's best quarterbacks. Certainly, his presence at wide receiver will allow Bridgewater a much shallower learning curve.
After all, Bridgewater told Tom Pelissero of USA Today via Twitter that he intends to learn from everyone:
Across from Jennings is the dangerous Cordarrelle Patterson—last year's first-round selection. He's just getting his feet wet in the NFL, but from what we saw last season he's due for a breakout.
Kyle Rudolph will turn out to be one of Bridgewater's best assets as well. The 6'6" tight end will serve as one big, reliable security blanket and red-zone target for the rookie quarterback.
With Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt bookending the offensive line, pass protection shouldn't be a problem either.
And that's just the offensive side of the ball.
In order to win football games, a stout defense is a priority. Luckily for the Vikings, new head coach Mike Zimmer is a defensive mastermind.
Zimmer took a sorry Cincinnati Bengals defense and turned that unit into one of the NFL's elite within just a couple of years. Now he will set out to do the same with a Minnesota defense that finished 31st in the league last season.
Another question to ask is: Will Bridgewater even start this season?
According to a tweet from NFL: Around The League, Zimmer answered that question:
Zimmer: Bridgewater will start for Vikings "if he's the best guy" http://t.co/bJOGnM5Lzg— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) May 11, 2014
Against Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel, you have to like his chances.
All of the pieces are in place for this young signal-caller to find immediate success in the NFL. After all, he's rather comfortable where he wound up, according to an interview with Deion Sanders, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com:
I was just able to establish relationships with Rick Spielman, the GM, coach (Norv) Turner, the offensive coordinator, and Scott (Turner), the quarterbacks coach. So I felt very comfortable that I was going to end up in Minnesota, someway, somehow.
Bridgewater has the confidence, the determination and now the team that will grant him early NFL success.