Teddy Bridgewater (5) celebrates. David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Teddy Bridgewater on Minnesota Vikings shortlist, but likely after No. 8

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It’s been unfortunate to see a quarterback prospect as smart, accurate, and polished as Teddy Bridgewater plummet due to a poor pro day, because his game tape is almost impeccable. Bridgewater has sufficient physical tools, and he is light years ahead of the other quarterbacks in this draft class when it comes to decision-making. Nobody does a better job of reading coverages pre or post-snap, and he is the smoothest QB at reading through progressions in an effort to calmly find the open man, while also not giving away anything to the safety.

There seems to be teams interested in drafting Bridgewater, but it feels like these teams would rather wait until late on to pull him in the draft. The Cleveland Browns reportedly like him, but they would prefer to take him with the 26th overall pick or trade up a little bit in order to secure him at around the 19-23 range.

Now, the NFL Network’s Albert Breer not only confirms colleague Ian Rapoport’s report that Johnny Manziel is indeed in play for the Vikings at No. 8 (ESPN’s Adam Schefter also mentioned them as a suitor earlier today), but he is also reporting that the Vikings “like” Teddy Bridgewater but would probably prefer to draft him after the eighth pick.

The Vikings have always been expected to draft a quarterback in the second or third round, so most people have focused on the second-tier QBs that the Vikes could be high on like Jimmy Garoppolo or, more prominently, Zach Mettenberger, instead of focusing on the big name QBs like Manziel or Blake Bortles. It’s possible that the Vikings could trade down from No. 8 and take a QB later on in the first, so that could be something to keep in mind. The Vikings desperately need a QB, and they could be playoff contenders with a legitimate franchise QB in tote. After all, they did reach the postseason in 2012 with Christian Ponder at the helm. Since Bridgewater is the best QB in the draft, I would take him at No. 8 in a heartbeat. I wonder if the Manziel interest is owner-driven, and the Wilfs are conducting their annual pre-draft meeting, which holds plenty of influence over the team’s draft-day decisions. Most people believe that owners are causing their teams to show interest in Manziel, so we’ll see if this is the case for the Vikings organization.

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Tags: Football Johnny Manziel Louisville Cardinals Minnesota Vikings NFL Draft Teddy Bridgewater

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