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Two of the Minnesota Vikings' draft picks in May, the final selection of the first round and the No. 96 overall pick in the third round, originally belonged to the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. The two players selected at those spots could make an immediate impact for the Vikings offense in 2014.
The No. 32 overall pick, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater from Louisville, is as likely to be an immediate starter as any rookie signal-caller in the league this year. The most polished, NFL-ready passer from this year's draft class, Bridgewater has the tools to succeed quickly and has been praised consistently by his coaches this offseason.
Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner told KFAN FM 100.3's Paul Allen last week, according to Vikings.com's Mike Wobschall, that Bridgewater "has been really, really impressive and a lot further along than I expected him to be." Head coach Mike Zimmer, meanwhile, has said Minnesota is "not afraid" to start the rookie quarterback if he proves to be the best man for the job, according to ESPN.com's Ben Goessling.
That doesn't necessarily mean Bridgewater will be starting come Week 1. He still has to beat out veterans Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder, who split starting duties for the Vikings last season. That said, Bridgewater should be a long-term upgrade over Cassel and Ponder, and Minnesota shouldn't hesitate to insert him into the lineup once it feels he is ready.
Bridgewater isn't the only offensive skill-position rookie who stood out for the Vikings this spring. Third-round pick Jerick McKinnon, a running back from Georgia Southern, has drawn high praise from his teammate, Adrian Peterson, who is arguably the league's best player at his position.
"He's pretty impressive and there's not too many guys who impress me like that, especially rookies coming in," Peterson said of McKinnon, according to Master Tesfatsion of the Star Tribune. "He's been able to do some real good things in the offense, picking it up well and just his running style."
McKinnon, an explosive playmaker with a rare combination of speed, agility and size, should be an intriguing player to watch in 2014. He poses no threat to Peterson's job, but the Vikings should look for creative ways to capitalize upon McKinnon's versatility—he played a number of different positions in college—and physical skill set.