Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings focus on Bridgewater today, Bortles Wednesday

Posted by: Mark Craig under Vikings, NFC Updated: March 17, 2014 - 9:30 AM

If you follow the gurus, read the mock drafts and allow yourself to actually believe anything that an NFL executive says before the draft, you know that Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is ...

A, The best quarterback in the draft and the No. 1 overall pick. Unless he's ...

B, Overrated and not as good as Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles and will be taken behind them, somewhere in the top seven picks. Unless, of course, they're ...

C, Truly falling out of favor, dropping in the draft and might be available when the Vikings are on the board at No. 8.

Somewhere amid the confusion and behind the smokescreens are answers that won't be revealed until the draft in May. The Vikings' attempt to get those answers continued Sunday when, according to an NFL.com report, they met with Bridgewater in Louisville on the eve of his much-anticipated pro day today. It's much-anticipated because, A, far too many people have been trained to overhype athletes throwing footballs and running 40-yard dashes in t-shirts and shorts in the spring, and B, Bridgewater didn't work out at the scouting combine last month.

The Vikings spent a day last week taking in Alabama's pro day. They looked at several prospects, but most notably quarterback A.J. McCarron and linebacker C.J. Mosley. You wouldn't think McCarron would be taken at No. 8, but, who knows. No one thought Christian Ponder would go No. 12 in 2011, and McCarron was a lot better college player than Ponder.

According to NFL.com, six NFL coaches are attending Bridgewater's pro day. One of them is Vikings caoch Mike Zimmer. Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman also is one of several GMs in attendance.

Meanwhile, the Houston Chronicle ran an article Sunday in which University of Houston defensive coordinator David Gibbs and Rice defensive coordinator Chris Thurmond broke down the strengths and weaknesses of Bridgewater, Manziel and Bortles. Both D-coordinators faced all three last season.

Gibbs, a former Gophers defensive coordinator and NFL defensive backs coach, said of Bortles and Bridgewater: “I see two safe picks. … I don’t see the bust.”

Meanwhile, Thurmond might have summed up how a lot of us feel about Manziel entering the next level.

"He's like carrying nitroglycerin around," Thurmond said. "If you put it in the trunk of your car, you might get where you're going. But, boy, you're always afraid it's going to blow up."

Bortles' pro day is Wednesday. Manziel's is March 27.

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Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 6:00 PM
Washington
Orlando 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Memphis 6:30 PM
Miami
Indiana 7:00 PM
Brooklyn
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Chicago
Atlanta 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Utah
New York 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Islanders 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Detroit 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Carolina 6:00 PM
Tampa Bay
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Boston 6:00 PM
Columbus
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Minnesota
Washington 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Dallas 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Nashville
Anaheim 7:00 PM
Arizona
Chicago 8:00 PM
Colorado
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
San Jose 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 50 2nd Half 6:20
North Carolina 75
IUPUI 48 2nd Half 3:18
Pepperdine 47
Santa Clara 55 2nd Half 1:25
St Marys-CA 70
Oakland 19 2nd Half
Maryland 37
Gonzaga 5:00 PM
BYU
Mercer 5:00 PM
Georgia
San Francisco 5:00 PM
Pacific
Wright State 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Presbyterian 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Brescia 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Tennessee St 7:30 PM
Tennessee
Kennesaw St 8:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Portland 8:00 PM
San Diego
Wayland Baptist 8:05 PM
Utah State
Bristol University 8:05 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
UNLV
SD Christian 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 6 3rd Qtr 6:30
So Carolina 17
Boston College 7 2nd Qtr 5:20
Penn State 7
(25) Nebraska 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 34 2nd Half
Gonzaga 45
Pacific 50 2nd Half
San Francisco 25
St Marys-CA 30 2nd Half
Santa Clara 26
San Diego 7:00 PM
Portland
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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