In his first mock draft, ESPN NFL draft Insider Mel Kiper delivers a pick for the Vikings that fans -- and the team -- would likely love: Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The 21-year-old quarterback, who has been mentioned as a possible No. 1 pick, will go to the Vikings at No. 8, Kiper predicts. He has Bridgewater as the third quarterback taken in the draft, behind Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Central Florida's Blake Bortles.
If the Vikings are sitting with a chance to take Bridgewater at No. 8 in May, it'd be hard to see them passing that up. Bridgewater would give the Vikings a mobile, athletic and assertive quarterback whom they could develop if Matt Cassel comes back or look to start right away if he's good enough to do so. The question will be whether he slips far enough in the draft for the Vikings to have a shot at him, but as Kiper points out, some of the teams drafting in front of the Vikings who also need a quarterback -- such as Jacksonville and Tampa Bay -- also could opt for defensive players; Kiper has the Jaguars taking South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney at No. 3, and the Buccaneers grabbing Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack at No. 7.
Either of those players could make sense for the Vikings, and in a year with so many bad teams that have interchangeable needs -- the Vikings' five wins were just the eighth-fewest in the league -- the draft could break any number of ways. But if Bridgewater were available for the Vikings at No. 8, they could have an easy choice.