The Sports Xchange, Published April 15 2014
Vikings extend QB Bridgewater's visit
The multi-day trip is the latest signal from the Vikings that quarterback is again a priority in the 2014 draft. The Vikings pick eighth overall and the 2012 Big East Offensive Player of the Year could still be available. He had a below-average showing at his March 17 pro day in Louisville with Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman present.
Spielman said in February that the Vikings are taking a very close look at the position despite investing in multiple passers in recent years.
Minnesota re-signed quarterback Matt Cassell to a two-year contract in March, but 2011 first-round pick Christian Ponder could be traded or released. The 12th overall pick has been inconsistent in two-plus seasons as a starter.
Before drafting Ponder, the Vikings last invested a first-round pick in a quarterback when they selected Daunte Culpepper with the 11th overall pick in 1999.
Bridgewater is the top pro-style quarterback in the draft. With the Cardinals, he operated under center and out of the shotgun. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner offered one of very few positive reviews of Bridgewater's on-campus workout, saying he was "pretty good."
Fresno State's Derek Carr and Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garroppolo are options for the Vikings if they choose to move back in the draft or follow Spielman's recent history of trading back into the first round for multiple picks. The Vikings dealt back into the first round each of the past two years, adding wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (29th overall) last year and safety Harrison Smith (29th) in 2012.