Will Bridgewater be the starting QB in the opener? Looking at the numbers.

The Viking's really needed to come out of the 2014 draft with a viable option at QB. If they had targeted a QB with the #8 pick, it wasn't Bridgewater or Manziel. The Vikings traded back a spot with the Browns for a fifth round pick (David Yankey, OG - Stanford) and used the #9 draft pick to select OLB Anthony Barr. Cleveland needed a QB and traded with the Eagles for the #22 selection (JFF) which put pressure on the Vikings if they were going to move ahead of the Texans (Vegas odds had them taking Bridgewater) to select Bridgewater. Fortunately for the Vikings, the Seahawk's pick was gone and they were willing to trade back in exchange for a fourth round pick (Cassius Marsh, DE - UCLA).

The Vikings are the only NFL team that is involved in a three-way quarterback competition as they head into training camp. The rank-and-file Viking fans know what we have in Cassel and Ponder with the only twist being what NORV brings to the game by way of scheme and his much anticipated playbook (no more knowing the play before the play). The new kid on the block is #32 draft pick Teddy Bridgewater who has received pretty solid reviews through the team OTA's and mini-camps. The Pro Day workout is now ancient history and we will look at the numbers concerning first round quarterbacks starting in their first season.

An NFL rookie quarterback has started opening day every season since 2007. Bridgewater, Carr, and Manziel would seem to be the best picks to keep this trend going. Zimmer is the only coach who has not said his rookie will sit behind the starting QB. If Bridgewater is better than Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder, then Zimmer said the rookie would start.

"I don't know if it’s a risk," Zimmer said about playing a young quarterback. "I think with that position you have to weigh a lot of different factors: how the defense is, where you’re at in the progression of things, maybe more so at that position than when you’re talking about a safety that handles different things."

Jason Vida (espn stats and information) pulled these numbers out of the archives:

A look at rookie first-round QBs since the merger by the numbers.

5 – Each of the last 5 quarterbacks drafted in the first round started in Week 1 of their rookie seasons, the longest streak since the merger.

78 – 78 percent of quarterbacks drafted in the first round started at least one game as rookies (71 of 91). That means there is only about a one percent chance that Bortles, Manziel nor Bridgewater starts this season.

49 – 49 percent of first-round quarterbacks started within their team’s first five games in their rookie seasons (45 of 91). That equates to an 87 percent chance that at least one of these three quarterbacks will start in their team’s first five games.

3 – Teams that draft a quarterback in the top five (like the Jaguars did with Bortles this year) are even more unlikely to sit him as a rookie. Only three of the 41 quarterbacks drafted in the top five did not start a game as a rookie (Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Art Schlichter).

Ponder's exit ticket was pretty well stamped once the Vikings drafted Bridgewater. I respect guys like tiredviking holding out hope that this will be Ponder's big year but most of the fans know what is coming. Cassel looked to be the favorite in this competition but has not been named the starting QB. Most media outlets have the Vikings finishing last in the division once again for the upcoming season. When you look at all the data, it really does look like Bridgewater is going to be playing much sooner than most fans thought. Bridgewater is 7/1 at Bovada's to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Manziel is at 6/1 and Bortles 12/1 to let you know what the betters think.

The numbers are weighing heavily that Teddy Bridgewater has a pretty solid shot at being the opening day starter against the Rams. The real intriguing question is when will Teddy Bridgewater get his first NFL start?

Chris Wessling (Around the League Writer)

2. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings: In declaring an open competition at quarterback, coachMike Zimmer added that the organization hopes Bridgewater will be "the best guy." The former Louisville star was the most advanced of this year's prospects in terms of reading defenses, beating blitzes and keeping his poise in the pocket.

It helps his cause that "bridge" quarterback Matt Cassel doesn't have much of a headstart in picking up Norv Turner's offense. As defensive coordinator, Zimmer watched 2011 second-round pick Andy Dalton lead the Bengals to the playoffs as a rookie. He won't be afraid to give Bridgewater the reins coming out of training camp.

Prediction: Starts Week 1


This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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