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Spielman: Vikings 'honed in on' Barr, Bridgewater has 'it factor'

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

More Draft coverage: 2015 Mock Drafts | 2015 Top 100 | 2014 Draft Grades | News

The 32nd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft draws the most attention for the Minnesota Vikings. That's where they traded back into the first round and grabbed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

But what about No. 9? Whichever way the Vikings went there was going to determine a lot of things about this draft. And their selection of UCLA's Anthony Barr certainly created a domino effect of sorts. Barr, Rick Spielman told "The Jim Rome Show" Wednesday, was always the Vikings guy.

“We knew we wanted Anthony Barr; that was the guy that we were kind of honed in on,” Spielman said. “With us losing some of our older players that were our star players here, we needed to make sure we were going to be able to rush the passer especially in this division with the type of quarterbacks that we face. So going in, we knew right off the bat, from a strategic standpoint we were going to go defense and Anthony Barr was our guy at that pick.”

But, yeah, Bridgewater is still the pick people will talk about for a long time, especially with the Vikings previously whiffing on Christian Ponder in the 2011 NFL Draft. There are questions with Bridgewater, but Spielman said he thinks Teddy has the 'it factor.'

“I think everybody put so much hype into that pro day workout and then everybody starts picking these kids apart and we do the same thing,” said Spielman. “But you always have to go back to what he has done in college and what did you see in tape and what did you see when you watched him play live. I had the opportunity to see him play live three times over the last two years and every time I got an opportunity to see him play in clutch situations, he seemed to have that ‘it' factor to him.”

Our good friend Dane Brugler (of NFLDraftScout.com and CBSSports.com fame) pointed out that Norv Turner was integral in landing Bridgewater:

Assuming Turner's the one who wants a particular quarterback, sign me up. For whatever you think about his ability as a head coach, Norv's a quarterback guru and a legendary offensive coordinator.

If anyone can get the "it" factor to appear from Teddy at the NFL level, it's Norv.

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