When the Minnesota Vikings traded back into the first round to conclude the first night of the NFL draft, it was a move with an eye toward the future and, perhaps, 2014.
They selected Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, a prospect heralded by some as the best and most NFL-ready player at his position in this class. Others, including some NFL personnel I've spoken with, had less enthusiasm over Bridgewater's college tape, narrow frame and poor showing from an accuracy standpoint at his pro day.
But the Vikings are hopeful that Bridgewater can thrive under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, whose track record of grooming quarterbacks is well-documented. The question many want an answer to is when Bridgewater will take the field for Minnesota, as the cabinet isn't bare at quarterback for the Vikings. The team drafted a first-round QB back in 2011, taking former Florida State signal-caller Christian Ponder, who is aiming to bounce back this season after a forgettable 2013. But the true competition for Bridgewater is veteran Matt Cassel, who the team re-signed this offseason after he stepped into a starting role for parts of 2013.
Given the nature of the position and the surrounding pieces on offense in Minnesota -- a standout offensive line, the best running back in football, a promising stud receiver -- this ranks among the most intriguing positional battles to be settled prior to the 2014 regular season. Here's a closer look at that competition, plus others to highlight as the offseason continues.