Predicting how rookies will pan out in the NFL is a notoriously difficult exercise. The transition from the college game to the pros can be a shocking experience for first-year players. Not only is everyone bigger, faster and can hit harder, but the schemes and playbooks are far more complicated and take time to learn.
For a quarterback it’s dizzying experience and even the best don’t often make a smooth transition. During Peyton Manning’s first year with the Indianapolis Colts he threw more interceptions than touchdowns and completed less than 57 percent of his passes. It was clear Manning had potential but his future in the league was by no means a slam dunk.
So how can Minnesota Vikings fans begin to understand what they’re getting in second-rounder Teddy Bridgewater?
The best we can do is rely on what the “experts” tell us, and watch film from his college career at Louisville. This highlight reel can give us some idea of what he’s capable of:
Draft analysts have made alot about his poor performance at the NFL Combine and his struggles with passing on the run, but he also has a lot of upside in the traditional areas you expect a quarterback to have:
Bridgewater did well facing the blitz, particularly in 2013:
Teddy Bridgewater vs. blitz in 2013: 70.1 pct completions, 11 YPA, 15 TD, 1 INT.
— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) May 9, 2014
His accuracy and poise have led to his being described as a taller version of Russell Wilson, and is widely regarded as the most NFL-ready quarterback out of the class of 2014. For now Mike Zimmer is expected to start Matt Cassell Week 1, but it should only be a matter of time before we see Bridgewater take the field.