Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater ended up in the first round after all.
After his draft stock yo-yoed throughout the pre-draft process, Bridgewater went to Minnesota with the final pick of the first round. The Vikings traded with Seattle to acquire the pick and nabbed Bridgewater.
The pick was met with loud applause at Radio City Music Hall -- Bridgewater was one of 30 players in attendance -- and from NFL Network analysts.
"I am so happy for that kid," NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock said. "He is one of the nicest kids I've met in the draft process in 10 years."
Mayock created a stir last week when he said, "I think people had some concerns about whether or not this young man is ready to step up and be the face of a franchise." Bridgewater's mediocre pro-day workout also caused some angst in NFL circles.
In the end, though, it seemed to work out for Bridgewater.
"He's smart, he's tough, he has everything you want in the innate stuff," said Mayock, who did say he thought Bridgewater (6-foot-2, 214 pounds) needed to gain strength. Bridgewater joins a Vikings teams that already has quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder on the roster.
Bridgewater told NFL Network's Deion Sanders that he had a feeling he would be going to Minnesota.
"Basically I felt like I had a great workout with those guys," Bridgewater said. "I met with them five or six times prior to the draft. I was just able to establish relationships with Rick Spielman, the GM, coach (Norv) Turner, the offensive coordinator, and Scott (Turner), the quarterbacks coach. So I felt very comfortable that I was going to end up in Minnesota, someway, somehow."
Minnesota went into the draft with the No. 8 pick but ended up moving back a spot and taking UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr. Analyst Steve Mariucci noted that Minnesota and Cleveland were teams that needed quarterbacks but bypassed them in the top 10, only to acquire quarterbacks later in the round. The Browns, who were said to be enamored with Bridgewater, took Johnny Manziel with the 22nd pick.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.