Despite his fall to the final pick in the first round, Teddy Bridgewater might be the best-equipped quarterback in this year’s rookie class to start from Week 1. He also might be in the most likely scenario of any of this year’s rookie quarterbacks to earn that responsibility from the get-go.
Like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns with their first-round quarterbacks, the Minnesota Vikings are being cautious not to commit to their rookie signal-caller as a starter. During rookie minicamp, head coach Mike Zimmer said the team will “bring Teddy along at the right time,” according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
That said, it’s already clear that Bridgewater has a real shot at winning the job. The Louisville product will receive a share of repetitions with the first-team offense during spring workouts, according to Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune.
If he’s going to be the starter when the 2014 season begins, Bridgewater will have to beat out incumbent quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder. They’re not particularly steep competition. Cassel has a career completion percentage of 59.0 and an 80.5 career passer rating, and Ponder is no better with a 60.2 completion rate and 77.3 quarterback rating.
Bridgewater might have to work his way up the depth chart over the course of the preseason to win the job, but he has all the tools to do so. A mechanically sound, accurate pocket passer with enough arm strength and athleticism to keep defenses honest, he could be an immediate upgrade over the disappointing Ponder and average-at-best Cassel.
All measurables courtesy of NFL.com.
Dan Hope is an NFL/NFL draft featured columnist for Bleacher Report.