Christian Ponder – QB
OK, so I’ll admit that when the Vikings drafted Christian Ponder I said, “What the F#%$?” Why would you do that when you have Prince Amukamara on the board. I was a little frustrated to say the least. I looked at Ponder as a possibility back in January but had written him off due to the injury to his throwing arm and low stats in 2010. Even though the numbers were low I noticed that he completed about 60% of his passes and threw for 20 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions but still I thought of him as damaged goods. Well, I was wrong. After continuing my research on this kid I have two very bold predictions to make:
1) Christian Ponder will be the most successful rookie quarterback in 2011!
2) Christian Ponder will be a candidate for offensive rookie of the year alongside AJ Green and Mark Ingram.
Here is why. Ponder ran a system in Florida State that is very similar to the offensive scheme of the Atlanta Falcons so he already knows a lot of Bill Musgrave’s playbook. What he doesn’t know he has the intelligence and work ethic to learn very quickly. While playing with his throwing arm injured in 2010 he still maintained accuracy. Sam Bradford has been durable after having a similar injury so if Christians arm gets back to full speed he will be much better than expected . The biggest advantage that Ponder has over the other quarter backs in the league is knowing the system upon entering the NFL. He has less to learn and is well equipped to learn it. So the Vikings will be able to use much more of their playbook than the Panthers or Titans with Cam Newton and Jake Locker. If Rocky Balboa had an IQ of 140 and completed 60% of his passes then you would have Christian Ponder. If we can pound the ball with Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhardt and restrict Ponder to a minimum number of throws the Minnesota Vikings will be in the playoffs with a 10-6 record at the end of the 2011 season. In retrospect it was a great pick. Ponder is truthfully the most NFL ready QB simply because he doesn’t have to spend as much effort learning the system.