Day 1 of the draft has finally come and gone, and NFL fans are filled with optimism once again. The draft started out with a very warm greeting of BOOS as commissioner Roger Goodell took the stage, likely fans expressing their appreciation of the commissioner for forcing loyal fans to wait two extra weeks for this holiday to get underway.
Far too much of the day was focused on overhyped signal-caller Johnny Manziel and his all too predictable slide further and further down the draft. It seemed clear that he wanted to stay in his home state of Texas, but when both Houston and Dallas decided to draft a player who is going to be good in the NFL, other teams started to get the hint and allowed him to keep on falling, until Cleveland finally broke down and traded up for the monetary gain of selling his jersey number to clueless fans before he takes the field and shows everyone what the GMs of all the teams have been seeing all along – a more hyped-up, less reverent version of Tim Tebow.
For the Vikings, the draft went very well. Aside from angering a few fans by not jumping at the opportunity to get a Fran Tarkenton clone, Rick Spielman had what may have been his best first round of the draft yet. After Cleveland traded back in the first round, Speilman once again found himself sitting a pick ahead of the Browns, knowing all too well that the player he wanted was not on Cleveland’s mind, but convinced them to give up a 5th round pick to trade places anyways. Then the Vikings drafted Anthony Barr, the second best linebacker in the class and the best player remaining on the board.
With no more picks left in the first round, many Vikings fans probably felt there wasn’t much reason to stick around and watch the rest of the draft. However, there were a few of us who remembered leaving a bit too early last year, and having to wake up to learn about a surprise second-hand. Those more seasoned fans were rewarded for sticking around until the end, as Spielman pulled off another great trade. Moving from the 8th pick in the 2nd round up to the 32nd pick in the first round, Spielman surrendered the 8th pick in the 4th round. Compared to the bevy of picks given up last year to move back into the first, this trade seems like a great bargain.
At this point in the draft, the Vikings appeared to have 2 options that they were considering: a QB with a cannon of an arm whose brother’s lack of success in the NFL likely was a primary reason for teams being wary of drafting him, and a QB who has a great mind for the game and has been a long time favorite to be the first QB off the board, and one of the first players off the board until a lackluster pro day was blown way out of proportion.
The Vikings took the safer pick, selecting Teddy Bridgewater with the 32nd pick in the draft, and now fans will be forced to wait out the summer to see just what our new coaching staff can do with these two promising 1st round selections.