Vikings Stunner: Take QB Ponder with the 12th Overall Pick

The Minnesota Vikings stunned the crowd at Radio City Music with the pick of Florida State QB Christan Ponder with the 12th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Here’s Our Scouting Report on Ponder:

A technique sound passer, Ponder show very good mechanics in both his upper and lower body technique. Has a compact delivery and holds the ball high with a high release point. The ball comes off his hand quick. Gets himself set in his pass drop quickly from center and has light feet in the pocket. He strides into his throws and bends at the knees. Very good overall footwork both inside and outside the pocket on bootlegs and rollouts. Shows a very good deep touch pass with accurate ball placement- his best throw.

Very good accuracy and zip in the short and intermediate passing game and knows when to add the proper amount of touch on his flares and backfield passes. A good athlete for the position and can be counted on to run for extra yards when a play breaks down. Can get hot when asked to run a 3-step passing game; flashes elite intermediate accuracy. Will show a quick pump-fake to hold the safety on the slant and go route. Has played through pain. Showed the ability to go through a three read progression. A three year starter.

Needs Improvement:
Has a slight frame and has fought injuries to his ribs, shoulder, and elbow throughout his career. His arm strength is only adequate in the deep passing game. When asked to go across the hashes towards the numbers or downfield past 35 yards his throws carry air-drag and hang, forcing receiver to double back or allowing the secondary to break up or intercept passes.

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Matt’s Take: Wow. This was a reach, but make no mistake, Leslie Frazier knows that this team needs a QB, and they felt that Ponder was the best QB out there, and they went after him. He won’t be the starter day one, as don’t be stunned as the Vikings will still go grab a veteran QB (hello Donovan McNabb?) as Ponder will sit the bench and learn for at least a year before being the full-time starter in Minnesota.

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