MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Vikings had a chance to pick quarterback Johnny Manziel after trading their top draft choice last Thursday for the No. 9 pick. Instead they went with defense and UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.
But the Vikings weren’t done with the first night of the NFL Draft, and they knew they needed to a get a quarterback. They traded back into the No. 32 pick, the last of the night, to take athletic Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said they are looking for a franchise quarterback, and they’re hoping Bridgewater can be that guy. Bridgewater made headlines for buying his mother, a cancer survivor, a pink SUV during the draft process.
Bridgewater says he’s a humble guy who will continue to work hard and he’s a competitor who just wants to get better.
Bridgewater threw 31 touchdown passes and just four interceptions in his final college season. He was a highly-touted quarterback before experts said he struggled in offseason workouts and his draft stock plummeted.
“It’s amazing but once you get that phone call none of that stuff even matters,” Bridgewater said. “I can say today that I’m proud to be a Minnesota Viking and that stuff doesn’t matter anymore. My focus is on getting my career started here in Minnesota and doing great things.”
Bridgewater, who at one point was a consensus top-10 pick, said his slide to the last pick of the first round will be a motivator.
“You can believe that. It will motivate me and I’m just honored and happy to be a Viking at the same time. I’m just going to continue to compete and work hard, and down the line we’ll see what the coaches decide.”