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Souhan blog: Thumbs-up for Vikings' first round

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • May 8, 2014 - 11:55 PM

I like what the Vikings did in the draft.

Of course, I love what Cleveland did, so maybe I've finally, completely, lost it.

Getting a quality pass rusher and a potential franchise quarterback on the first night of the draft? If that's what the Vikings accomplished on Thursday night, this draft will be remembered for a long time.

Anthony Barr is a talented athlete who seems grounded. He stayed at his California home so he could share the moment with family and friends intead of flying to New York to hang with Johnny Football. He's fast. He's still learning. If you're going to hire Mike Zimmer as your head coach, these are the kinds of players you should give him.

But we all know that GM Rick Spielman trading for the last pick in the first round and taking Teddy Bridgewater will determine how this draft is remembered, and how Spielman's tenure is remembered.

Remember, Bridgewater was considered a likely top pick in the draft as recently as last fall. When he threw poorly at his Pro Day workout, his stock slipped dramatically.

That's what I found most interesting tonight: The Vikings' explanations for dismissing that Pro Day performance.

Spielman said he set up a subsequent workout with Bridgewater, and saw Bridgewater throw much better after a few tips from offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

I trust Turner when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks. Is the pick a risk? Yes, because every quarterback picked since John Elway, with the possible exception of Andrew Luck, carried some risk. But I like Bridgewater's accuracy and tenacity. He's got a chance to succeed.

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Found it interesting that Spielman praised Zimmer and his staff's ability to teach technique when working with players this spring. I took that as a direct shot at Leslie Frazier's staff.

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Weird writing about something other than hockey. I'll be back with the Wild on Friday night for Game 4, then traveling to Chicago for Game 5. I'll be on WJON in St. Cloud at 7:15 a.m. Friday, and on 1500ESPN in the Twin Cities at 12:15ish. My Twitter handle is @Souhanstrib.

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