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Friday (Manziel, Bridgewater and starting over) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Vikings Updated: May 9, 2014 - 10:04 AM

 

On paper, the first round of the NFL draft unfolded beautifully for the Vikings -- and about like many of us would have predicted. They were able to extort an extra fifth-round pick from Cleveland to move one spot from 8 to 9. They took who we assume they thought was the best defensive player available at that spot. And then they traded back into the first round late, emboldened by the extra fifth and extra third (from the Percy Harvin trade) to get one of the three quarterbacks that had been discussed as being in the upper tier of this year's draft. In some ways, the NFL draft is very much about getting good value. And the Vikings got good value.

 

In other ways, though, the NFL draft -- especially in the first round -- is about hitting a home run. It's about finding that special talent who can elevate your team to a new level.

We thought the offensive player in this draft who defined that was Johnny Manziel. We made no secret about our desire for the Vikings to draft him -- for journalistically selfish reasons because he's a great story, for practical reasons because we thought he was that special talent and for visceral reasons because it would just be enjoyable to watch him play.

The Vikings, of course, had a chance to take Manziel at No. 8 ... and again at No. 9 after the Cleveland trade. They chose Anthony Barr instead. Reports suggested they were trying to trade back up to No. 22, presumably to take Manziel at that spot, before Cleveland edged them out. The Browns still had a lower first-round pick to offer, so it makes sense that they would win that battle.

And then the Vikings, of course, ended up swapping their second- and fourth-round picks for the final pick in the first round to take Teddy Bridgewater.

This sets us up, fair or unfair, for years of debate and progress-monitoring. The Vikings could have had either quarterback, and Bridgewater is the one they ended up getting. This made plenty of people happy, and we can understand their position. Bridgewater was once thought of as a candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick. If his stock fell just from one bad showing at his pro day, it's fairly ridiculous. He very well could be a better pro than Manziel. Nobody knows. That's the beauty and curse of the draft -- what makes it fun, what makes it maddening, what makes it so important.

But we also know others who think Bridgewater has a low NFL ceiling and that the Vikings messed up badly. Again, we don't really know. What we think about Manziel is this: the NFL in 2014 is often about improvisation and playmaking ability. The ability to read through progressions is big, but taking a play that shouldn't work and making it work is even bigger, to us. Manziel has that. He will continue to have it in the NFL. The Vikings could have had that, and they lost it. Maybe the fact that we value such a thing so much is more a reflection of us instead of anything else.

Time will tell. Bridgewater is far more than a consolation prize. He could be great. It's far from crazy to think history will judge the Vikings as geniuses instead of fools. As with any QB draft, though, this one will be remembered and followed with a great intensity.

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San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia

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