Considering some of the drivel the so-called NFL draft experts have been spouting off lately it’s really not that much of a surprise that former University of Louisville safety Calvin Pryor ended up being drafted before superstar quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The New York Jets used the number 18 overall pick.
Pryor came out early, after his junior season, because he said he thought the draft was short on his safety position. In his three years as a Louisville Cardinal, he tallied 218 tackles and two sacks. He also created takeaways by racking up 9 forced fumbles and 7 interceptions.
He’s seen as a big hitter and that ability will make wide receivers wary of coming to his portion of the field. At least that’s what it was in college. Everyone is the Six Million Dollar Man in the NFL: bigger, stronger, faster.
Pryor was among the 30 players invited to Radio City Music Hall in New York Thursday night during the announcement. Teddy Bridgewater was there, too, as Louisville was attempting to have multiple players drafted to the NFL in the first round. It’s a feat that hasn’t been accomplished by any Cardinal class.
When Philadelphia made the surprise pick of linebacker Marcus Smith, 26th overall, it was mission accomplished. Most of the “experts” thought of Smith as a middle round selection. When asked, Smith thought he was a first rounder. With the way Philadelphia plays its fast and furious offense, they’ll need the versatility of Smith on defense because they’ll be on the field a lot. He was not in New York for the announcement.
Finally the last pick of the first round came and Minnesota traded up with Seattle to grab Teddy Bridgewater. For the Vikings, the move was a steal. You get a proven quarterback for less money to shore up your signal caller situation which was a disaster last season. In Bridgewater you get an NFL ready star in a city that’s hungry for one.
He’ll have Adrian Peterson’s running game to back him up when he gets on the field. Minnesota currently has Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder as quarterbacks and neither of them has set TFC Bank stadium on fire . Scuttlebutt says that the Vikings wanted to trade up to the spot where Cleveland got Johnny Manziel. Whether they would have taken Manziel or Bridgewater is anyones guess. However, years from now, they’ll see how lucky they really were.