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2014 1st Rounders Barr, Bridgewater React To Pro Bowl Bids

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Two more Vikings are heading to Hawaii.

The Vikings announced Monday that quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and linebacker Anthony Barr will be joining the Pro Bowl roster in lieu of Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins.

It will be the first career Pro Bowl for the pair of 2014 first-round picks.

"It's a pretty good look for this organization to have the top two picks from a year ago go to the Pro Bowl and be able to represent the franchise, the ownership and the rest of the team," Barr said. "We have a responsibility to live up to, and we're going to do so. We're excited to be part of the Pro Bowl and to be able to represent our team."

"I'm excited about it," Barr added. "I'm very humbled by the opportunity."

Drafted ninth overall, Barr was the first player drafted in Head Coach Mike Zimmer's tenure. The UCLA alum impressed as a rookie in 2014 and continued that trend this season. Barr contributed to a dynamic defense that helped the Vikings to an 11-5 regular season record and their first playoff appearance since 2012.

Despite missing two games with a knee injury, Barr recorded 80 tackles (61 solo), six tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 12 quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and seven passes defensed. Barr also snagged his first career interception off a Peyton Manning pass at Denver on Oct. 4.

The Vikings drafted Bridgewater 32nd overall, and he started 12 games as a rookie. In 2015, Bridgewater started all 16 regular season games and the Wild Card matchup for Minnesota, finishing the season with 3,231 passing yards and a completion percentage of 65.3. Bridgewater recorded 14 touchdowns and became the first Vikings quarterback since Brett Favre to throw four touchdowns in a single game, which he did against New York on Dec. 27.

Both Barr and Bridgewater have been well-liked by the fans since joining the team last season, and Barr feels the Pro Bowl will be an extra opportunity to show those fans some Vikings football.

"It's a great opportunity not only for the guys [playing] in the Pro Bowl and for the organization, but for the fans to get another look at the team," Barr said. "To look at us and see how much progress we've made both as individuals and as a team. I think it's important for the organization to see some Vikings get recognized for their hard work."

Barr and Bridgewater will join running back Adrian Peterson, defensive end Everson Griffen and safety Harrison Smith in next weekend's Pro Bowl game. This year will be the most players the Vikings have in the Pro Bowl since they had seven selections in 2012.

While Peterson is making this seventh Pro Bowl appearance, his four teammates will be making their first career trip to Hawaii.

 "I don't know what it's going to be like," Barr said. "I can only imagine it's going to be a great time. I'm pretty close with the other four guys going, and I just can't wait to get out there and see those faces again, catch up and laugh. It will be good times."

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