5 Points To Ponder On Vikings Top Pick

Posted by Mike Wobschall on April 28, 2011 – 11:21 pm

The Vikings selected QB Christian Ponder with their 1st-round pick on Thursday night, a move that was met with mixed reaction among the Vikings fan base. I understand some of the criticism, but I also experienced some frustration right after the pick because of the negative reaction to the selection.

So, let’s talk it out quickly. Here are 5 points to Ponder about our new QB…

1. Assessing Ponder’s value at pick #12
It’s clear to me that the critics’ number one beef with this pick is the value, meaning there’s a belief the Vikings could’ve traded back in the 1st round to acquire more picks later in the draft while still ending up with Ponder. This may be true, but it might also not be true. The Miami Dolphins (#15) and Washington Redskins (#16) were lurking just a few picks back, and it’s certainly possible they could’ve selected Ponder with their picks. Also, I’d submit to critics that the true “value” of a rookie QB isn’t determined now. It’s determined down the line, when we know whether he turned out to be a productive starter who leads his club to wins and, ultimately, playoff victories.

To me, here’s the bottom line on this issue: The Vikings didn’t find themselves without a partner at the end of this year’s QB shuffle. Now that would’ve been reason for criticism.

2. An ideal fit in the Vikings offensive scheme
I’ll say that the reaction and mood of Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier, offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and QBs coach Craig Johnson following the 1st round is the complete opposite as the mood of critics of this selection. Ponder was described by many analysts as the perfect QB for a west coach-type of offense. I’m not sure “west coast” is the most accurate characterization of what Musgrave will run in Minnesota, but I am sure that many of the principles of the west coast offense (rhythm, timing, variety of routes) will be found in the offense that Musgrave employs here. Ponder has experience being under center - a quality not always found in today’s college QBs – and Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman says he is composed in the pocket, even when facing pressure.

Fans will see almost right away that Ponder is comfortable in the pocket and won’t compromise the chance for a completion whenever he faces pressure.

3. Intelligence and passion
In doing some reconnaissance on Ponder’s mental makeup and character, it became clear to me quite quickly that Ponder is considered an extremely intelligent player and he has a passion for the game that was admired by his teammates and coaches. Spielman said he talked to coaches who described Ponder as a player who wouldn’t come off the field, whether it be in games or at practices. A Vikings scout also told me that Ponder’s offensive coaches at Florida State were able to run a completely new scheme each week because of Ponder’s ability to grasp concepts in a matter of a few days. Also, Ponder graduated in 2+ years from Florida State and he’s currently working on his second Master’s degree.

4. An experienced, senior QB with a lot of wins
I actually tend to favor senior QBs coming out of college. While it can be argued that underclassmen QBs tend to be more talented (which is why they’re entering the NFL draft early), I think the difference in physical skill sets between senior passers and underclassmen passers is negligible compared to the bigger difference in their awareness and ability to both handle adversity and process information quickly during a game. Ponder played in 35 games during his college career, winning 22 of them and performing well in big spots. He’s the first QB since Chris Weinke to defeat both the University of Miami and the University of Florida in the same season and he was also named MVP of this year’s Senior Bowl.

A legitimate knock on Ponder is his injury history. He missed time in both 2009 and 2010 with throwing arm injuries, but he should also be credited for insisting on playing through pain during his career, particularly during his last game in 2009 and throughout the entire 2010 season.

5. Athleticism
I think one trait of Ponder’s that Vikings fan will be particularly pleased with is his athleticism. He throws pretty well on the run and he had 10 rushing TDs in college, displaying the mobility necessary to both elude rushers and pick up yardage down the field. Should the Vikings pass protection break down, Ponder will not be a sitting duck in the backfield; he’ll be able to escape and either find an open receiver downfield or simply take off and pick up yardage with his legs.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 93 Comments »

93 Responses to “5 Points To Ponder On Vikings Top Pick”

  1. By Mike B on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Mike good points to bring up and one that need to bring up as value of Ponder is in question. Thanks again

  2. By Geiber on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    I think everyone at first everyone was like no way! Now everyone may be starting to realize it was a good pick, he is a great qb that fits the vikingsand how they play, now they can concentrate on the rest of our issues through fa and draft. I hope he chooses number 7 for his jersey number ha ha! Cant wait to get it! Great Pick I’m ecstatic!

  3. By Mike Wobschall on Apr 28, 2011 | Reply

    Right. I definitely understand that you can question the “value” of taking Ponder at #12. But if Ponder was the Vikings guy (I’ve been told he was), I can understand why it might make sense to take him at #12 even though there’s a chance you could’ve gotten him later. When you’re dealing with a guy who can be a franchise QB, I don’t think you’ll regret taking him a bit early if he works out in the end. And obviously the Vikings believe Ponder will work out in the end, otherwise they wouldn’t have taken him.

    As I said in the piece, the true value of Ponder will be uncovered down the road, when we see whether he leads us to the playoffs or not.

  4. By drew on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Sometimes we just waste good draft picks, we could have easily got Ponder in the second round. We could have draft a shutdown corner, or an offensive lineman with our number one pick. I love my Vikings but we going to be mediocore another year! Maybe getting Ponder is the same as bring Brett Favre back. I just hope we do beeter in our other picks.

  5. By Ben on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I think the other thing to consider with Ponder is his completion percentage. The Vikings need an accurate passer who can convert third downs and manage games so Adrian, Toby, and company can wear defenses out. Turnovers were kilter last year and a smart guy who can move the chains is what the Bikes

  6. By James Patrick on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Very bad decision on Ponder. He will not stay healthy. I can not believe that Ponder is the 12 best player in the draft! They drafted for need not the best player available. They will have many sleepless nights by passing on Quinn, Fairley, Amukamara, Jimmy Smith, Cameron Jordan even Bowers…. There will be many All Pros from the group they passed on to get Ponder. I am a life long Viking fan, but this is hard to take. Mark my words Ponder will be a so so NFL QB. He will not be able to stay healthy! Mallet will be a all pro QB very quickly! Very bad decision. Big reach……………! Mark my words…. not a good decision….. My God Brett Bomar is better than Ponder! Very bad decision.

  7. By Parody on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for the info Mike. It helps to cool the blood a little. I’ve been saying all off-season how much I believe in the coaches we have and how I’ll trust in whatever decision they make, but that proved to be extra difficult this evening.

    The biggest problem I had with it was the fact that it meant we were abandoning the “best player available” philosophy that has worked so well for us in acquiring young talent. Amukamara and Fairley were both there, and I would have been ecstatic to get either one on our team.

    Instead, we now have to face up against Fairley twice a year in what is already being considered the best defensive line in all of football. That won’t be an easy task, especially if we can’t get our OLine back on track. Plus, I don’t know how long an injury prone QB can last against those odds. But we have the same coach who built Matt Ryan into a star in such little time, so there’s still hope.

  8. By Olson on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    They should still pick Andy Dalton. He started all 4 years and had an incredible win/loss record. He passed for 2700-2800 yrds his last two years. In fact, Dalton’s worst passing year is one of the Ponder’s best years. On top of all that he rushed for 400-500 yards per year. He is used to playing on a team with a strong running game. He lead his team to bowl games and played well under the pressure. He knows how to win – that’s all. He did it for 4 years unlike Ponder who only started two years. I don’t think Ponder has the experience or the same poise Dalton has. Dalton is way under rated due to the conference TCU played in. He played the best Top Ten team in the Rose Bowl and still won. He’s an honors student as well- he’s very smart. He could easily learn the west coast offense. Joe Montana wasn’t super exceptional coming out of college, but he was smart and performed well under pressure. Dalton has proven he performs well under pressure. That’s the biggest thing to take into consideration in the draft. I can’t believe Dalton wasn’t on their top list. Ponder lacks experience where Dalton has proven himself. Dalton would be a perfect fit for the Vikings.

  9. By Parody on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    By the way – I suppose we’re going to be stuck listening to a lot of pathetic “Ponder” puns for the entire time that he’s a Viking now. That’s really going to get annoying. It’s only been a few hours and I’m already fed up with it.

  10. By Olson on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Also, Dalton is not injury prone. Ponder has an elbow injury he’s nursing. That’s the injury that kept Joe Montana from playing for almost two full seasons. That’s an important injury for a QB. It doesn’t look good to start your picks with a QB that has an injury to his throwing arm.

  11. By Parody on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    *It just sounds like he’s a Batman villain with all the potential for corney puns. Maybe the Riddler’s sidekick?

    Somebody might as well get started making a costume for him and pitch the idea to DC.

  12. By Parody on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    “Unaccepted as a professional football player, this extremely intelligent young athelete feels the rage build inside of him and turns to evil. While pining over why he couldn’t make it in the NFL he comes across the Riddler during one of his dastardly schemes and is convinced to join his evil cause. Now he is no longer Chistian Ponder. He is only: The Ponderer!”

  13. By idontwan2know on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    When are you guys gonna figure out that Dalton was a smokescreen by the Vikings and several other teams? He does not possess the toolkit to be an NFL starter. Anybody who watched the senior bowl practices and game knows that Ponder is the better prospect by far (and consistently outperformed Locker, too).

    It’s not like the Vikings were the only team to pass on Dalton. He sat there for twenty straight picks through teams that needed QBs, and anyone who wanted him could have traded back into the late 1st cheaply. But they didn’t. Cause he’s not a first round guy and wouldn’t even be a third round guy in a normal draft.

  14. By GreenMezz on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I agree about Dalon, we can’t have a ginger running our team. But then again, we are the vikings and Erik the Red was a ginge. I’ve got to Ponder this some more….nope, can’t think of one ginger that plays football at a high caliber.

  15. By Parody on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    So a question on this Ponder fella. Is he good enough to convince Sidney to stick around? I’d hate for him to have to learn with Berrian as his number one option, and I have been hearing that Rice wants to play for a good QB. (I think the success with Favre may have had a part in this).

    Also, how agressive will the team be when free agency finally comes around? Knowing the potential of the guys that we passed on in favor of Ponder, I have to hope that the coaches have their eyes on a few good free agents in similar positions in order to make certain the kid has a good cast to learn with.

  16. By Nick on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    He (Ponder) ticks nearly all the right boxes – my only concern and I’m sure I’m not alone are the elbow and hand injuries he recently sustained. However, hopefully our medics have done their homework – we can win with this guy. Now for Paea, the beast in round two and re establish our feared run defense.

  17. By AC on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Lets not all forget who our new qb will be handing off to.. this has always been petersons team,, we got ourselfs a smart accurate passer with loads on talent around him.

  18. By jjared on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Ben, I don’t think 3rd downs and accuracy are legit concerns:

    – Of Ponder’s 45 third-down down pass completions, 41 resulted in 1st downs or TDs.

    – FSU led the ACC in 3rd down conversions.

    – In the red zone, Ponder was 30 of 50 for 240 yards and 16 TDs with just 1 INT.

  19. By Rick on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    This pick leads me to Ponder what might be …and might have been.

  20. By Parody on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    After doing some homework on Ponder, he is seeming more and more like a valuable selection. Just watching the videos from has been encouraging. But something that I found really uplifting was CBS Sports’ draft grades. We were one of 5-teams to receive an A or better in the first round.

    The only downfall to this is that the Lions were the only team to get an A+, by selecting the player that I would have taken if it were my choice. So I don’t look forward to facing Suh and Fairley for the next decade or so, but I am much more optomistic about the potential that Ponder brings to the team.

  21. By Parody on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

  22. By dw on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I’m liking ponder more and more.

  23. By Josh on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Though the pick has me initially aggravated, this could pan out if the Vikings train this guy up well.
    One problem I do have is with people saying that you can get this guy, or any guy at some point in the draft. If people ACTUALLY paid attention to the draft, then they would have seen that just because you think a guy will be at a pick doesnt mean he will. There were several upsets througout the night, who’s to say one of the other teams in a QB needy situation wouldnt have done what the Jaguar’s did and moved ahead of someone? Also, the Bengals and Redskins are teams picking ahead of the Vikings in the 2nd who havent picked a QB yet, they could very well have tried to go after him before the Vikings would on Friday night.
    So for now, I say we see how things play out for Ponder. The Vikings still need to bring in a veteran and should switch Webb to WR to give an additional weapon to the QB’s incase Rice leaves. Also keep in mind that if Rice does leave under last years CBA, he will be a RFA and we get a 1st round pick for him – giving the Vikings 2 picks in the Top 32 in next years draft. If someone picks up Ray Edwards, we get an additional 3rd round pick.

  24. By D-Wang on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I really really dislike this pick, but it was the right one. Jake Locker being picked at #8 changed the way the whole draft dealth with QBs and their stocks rose immensely, I don’t like any of the other QBs that we might’ve drafted otherwise. Ryan Mallett has too many character issues, and Andy Dalton has the makings of someone who’s gonna be a career back-up. Ponder was *not* going to make it past Washington, so trading down wasn’t really an option.

    I do agree with their decision not to move up, the Vikes are without their round 3 pick, and would’ve had to trade their second round pick to switch with the cowboys to nab Gabbert, who would (more so then the other QBs) need better protection and giving up that second round pick doesn’t help at all.

  25. By viking91 on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    i dont think we had the luxury of getting ponder in the second round all thanks to the redskins who werent far behind us after that trade. if we had picked anyone else or traded down, it wouldve been too late to get Ponder because the Redskins were looking to get him. On the program Rich Eisen said that the Redskins overheard their table have a “dang” moment when we make our pick. we make a sacrifice to get Ponder, but i think it was well worth it. not only will he fit the offensive scheme Bill Musgrave wants to run, but he’s extremely intelligent and will be up to par, in my opinion, than other qb’s selected in the first round. especially Cam Newton who says he’s goin on vacation. lol

  26. By idontwan2know on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    BTW – in case anyone is buying Kiper’s “poor man’s Chad Pennington” BS, check this out.

    Chad Pennington couldn’t make that throw in his DREAMS.

  27. By Shawn on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Well I admit I overeacted to the Ponder pick, the scouting report is similar to Joe Montana’s so lets hope thats just what we got … In Frazier we trust , I apologize for my over reaction

  28. By Carl K on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Washington, Miami and Seattle all had their eyes on Ponder. I think we got the best QB in the class. I am still a big fan of Joe Webb… We have 3 good young guys at QB… now lets build around them.

  29. By Carl K on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I can also agree with Parody, it was hard not to pick Failey or Amukamara, but it makes me feel good that the staff must have really liked Ponder from the start.

    I think Washington trading back and Locker not being on the board really limited the Vikings being able to moving back to get Ponder.

    I think trading up to get Gabbert was all a smoke screen… because he fell far enought that the Vikings could have moved up to get him if they really wanted him.

  30. By Olson on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    The best QBs were Cameron and Locker, beyond that the rest should be looked based on experience and where they brought their team. Ponder didn’t go any where. They bowl game they played he threw maybe six times. He started two years and threw 2500 yrds n 2200 yrds with a 58-61% completion. He didn’t play in any high profile game in his college career. Cameron, Locker n Dalton did. Dalton did repeatedly. Dalton isn’t injured n would have been more solid. Only one guy was picking Ponder 2 go in first round every one else thought Ponder would go in the 2nd or third round also. Dalton was used 2 a high performing running game n he still produced 2700-2800 passing yrds. He was solid all four years with something like 45 wins n only 7 losses, I believe. He’s a guy that doesn”t quit n plays till he wins. That should have spoken more than the size of the school he played for.

  31. By dmac32 on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    There were two Qb’s that i was high on in this draft: Ponder and Dalton. Both were projected as late 1st to 2nd round picks. The Locker pick threw a monkeywrench in the Vikings strategy. I do think that they tried to trade back, but they couldn’t drop back too far because the Redskins need a QB. Even though I think that we picked him too early, I think that he’ll be a solid QB. Look at the production. In regards to the injury concerns, people were saying the same about AP. Hopefully we can get either Bowers (DE) or Moore (S) in the 2nd.

  32. By dmac32 on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I see alot of people talking about Mallett. I see him as being another Ryan Leaf, remember him. I also think that Newton will be a bust. I was hoping for Prince in the first and Dalton or Ponder in the second. Hopefully we can pick up a third somehow tso we can pick up another CB.

  33. By VKing56 on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Okay after a night to sleep on it i am feeling much better about this pick. Would it have been nice to move back and get are 3rd pick back and still get this guy, yes. We don’t know if he would have even been there. So with that said we got him he is are guy lets move forward and hope for a good season. SKOL VIKINGS!!!!!!!!!! Okay so where can i order my jersey so i can add it to my collection of Vikings QB jerseys that i have. I hope this will be the last one for about 15 years.

  34. By Vikoholic on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    There is a lot left on the board. I’d like to move back a few spots in the 2nd and see if we can get a 3rd or another 4th.
    Worth looking at:
    -Stephen Paea (DT)
    -Allen Bailey (DE)
    -Orlando Franklin (OT)
    -Rahim Moore, Ahmad Black, Quinton Carter (S)
    -Brandon Harris, Aaron Williams (CB)
    -Akeem Ayers (LB)
    -Titus Young (WR)

  35. By Peter on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Iif you’re gonna post stats to hate at least get them right. In fact, in 2009, Ponder’s completion percentage was 68% and ranked him 3rd in the country. If you look at 20 yard and under throws, that stat goes above 72%… The guys runs a 4.6, tied at the combine for the fastest time in the 20 yard shuttle and outshined EVERYONE. Dalton doesn’t run out of a pro-set/west coast offense and Ponder does. Everyone has him rated as one of the top two “ready now” guys ahead of even Gabbert. Cam Newton will be a project for at LEAST two years. I think Locker was #1 and Ponder was #2. Should Ponder have been #12, probably not. Did the Vikings need a QB, yes. Was he the best one available at the time, yes. Would Washington have taken him 4 picks later, yes. The kid’s extremely smart, tough and will be a good team guy and leader. Good pick.

  36. By Chilly4Life on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    EPIC FAIL! We better resign T-Jack. God knows he’ll be the starter over this clown by week 4. Nice pick.

  37. By Bigfan1 on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Wow, a 55 yd pass off balance in the Florida game not many NFL QBs could make that throw. After reading and hearing from coaches and Ponder this is the right choice a no brainer.

  38. By Carl K on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Great post Parody!

  39. By CanadianViking on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t mind Ponder. He is going to be a good QB one day. However, SO IS JOE WEBB. I think we already had a guy to develop. Webb and Ponder both need time now to get ready and become a starter one day. So now the question is who do we grab to start this year? And show these two guys the rope? See the large issue I have at taking Ponder at 12 was that if we would have missed on him in the 2nd rd… we still had Webb anyways so who cares we could have filled other needs. Like DT or even improve our OL. I was a bit disappointed. I do like Ponder but just wasn’t a good spot to take him. We gave up a lot :(

  40. By wacky on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply


  41. By wacky on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    WORST PICK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. By wacky on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply


  43. By wacky on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply


  44. By wacky on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply


  45. By Ponder on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    These haters of ponder can go switch teams, you whining toddlers you haven’t seen the kid play yet and you are already writing him off. That’s why this team hasn’t made it to the superbowl yet because the fans never want a qb instead they want another position just go bang your heads against the wall you have no clue how bad we need a qb go root for another team jump off the bandwagon.

  46. By Ponder on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I’m proud of the vikings staff for addressing our needs they just have to develop him and not keep him on the sidelines let him play and learn on the go. Its funny how fans suddenly wanted fairley no fans even mentioned his name that they wanted him until the lions grabbed him. We have corners already prince was not going to have any space on the team winfield, griffin, cook , asher.

  47. By Ponder on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Whether it works out or not I applaud the staff for finally selecting a qb having the guts to, I wanted mallett instead but ponder has the brains and was in a nfl style offense at a big school nothing but plusses. If the vikings develop ponder he can be a good qb let the kid play and don’t waste his talent let him play to his strengths.

  48. By Ponder on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    If ponder fails its because frazier and musgrave are micro managing his every move and altering the way he plays, ponder I hope you prove all the fans wrong by getting picked high I’m sure you will use this at motivation.

  49. By Olson on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    To Peter above, let’s look at the stats… Ponder’s stats verses Dalton’s stats? No comparison. Ponder had only one year when his completion percentage was at 66%. Do the math. Overall averaging all four years it was 57.6%. Dalton”s overall average was 61%. His ’09 year he had a 68i% completion stat. He only won 21 total games that he played in during the seasons and had 13 losses….Dalton however had a 43-7 win/loss record. Dalton went to a bowl game every year including his freshman year. He was named MVP three of those bowl games. Ponder did play in one….all the way through. Big deal. Ponder runs a 4.6 40 yrd dash and Dalton 4.7. Not much difference. What good does it do if you don’ use it much in your games? Ponder’s total rushing yards was 646 yrds for four years. Dalton was 1611. Dalton had 71 TD’s and Ponder had 49 total. Dalton was a better contender for the Vikings and they blew it. He will go in the 2nd round. Dalton can play in the big games and do well. What has Ponder really done? Not much. And no – he doesn’t compare to Joe Montana – Joe didn’t start till his senior year and took the team to the national championship and won. Joe proved he could win the big games when it counted….just like Dalton.

  50. By David P on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    With the vikings o-line and a QB that is injury pronethis does not bode well. He will start 1 game and spend the rest of the year on IR. Great pick. How clueless.

  51. By Jim on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Okay, there are way too many whiners on here. Why would any true fan want to be so flippin’ negative and say this is a bust. You whiners are exactly what the team doesn’t need for a fan base. You probably leave games early, jump off the bandwagon at the first sign of trouble, first to jump back on when things turn around and proclaim your undying devotion at the same time. Support the team and the direction they are going. For the true fans, I think this is an exciting pick. He’s motivated, smart, athletic, strong arm, and a guy with a positive attitude. Go Vikes!!!

  52. By Michael S on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I may not know a whole lot about what the vikings need but im pretty sure a new quarterback could have waited there are many other positions that need attention. When are we gonna fix our defense, i mean come on it doesnt matter how many times we score if we cant stop the other team. Pretty much i just wanted to say GET A DEFENSE WAIT ON THE QB

  53. By Michael S on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    And in case anyone is wondering im a die hard vikes fan the only other team i root for is whoever is going against the fudgepackers

  54. By JOSH on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply


    HE’S GOING TO SHOCK YOU ON HOW GOOD HE REALY IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  55. By Olson on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Let’s look at Ponder’s best season: 2009 – 2717 pass yrds, 14 TDs – 7 int, rushing 179 yrds, win/loss – 7-6 and went to Gator Bowl with a ranking of 55th out of 120. Dalton -2010 – 2857 pass yrds, 27 TDs – 6 int., rushing 435 yrds, with a win/loss of 12/0 and was MVP of the Rose Bowl ranked 3rd in the nation. HE IS A 3X MVP WINNER OF 3 BOWL GAMES. Let’s not forget – many people thought TCU should have been ranked #1 or #2 in 2009. He had a solid four year starting career. They both are smart. Dalton was an honors student. He proved he could make good decisions in games with a 43- 7 win/loss record. The Vikings are going to be sorry they went with Ponder instead of Dalton. Big mistake. Dalton was predicted to go late in 1st round or early 2nd round. I can’t believe they let him slip away….They should have gone with the person who had a proven WIN/LOSS record and proven consistent ability to win in the big games. It’s the ability to play and win under pressure that’s the deal breakers for all these rookies…it’s not just about talent – everyone knows that. Can Ponder play well under the pressure? I doubt it. Not a guy with a 21-13 college record for the games he played in. I’m blown away Leslie went this direction instead of Dalton. Backup or not – he’d be a great asset to any team in the NFL.

  56. By JOSH on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply




  57. By Olson on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I agree David….I don’t get it either. Clueless. Why go with the injury prone guy right now?

  58. By Ryan D on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Weinke JR Real Nice. Better get him an Oline cuz hes already proven to be fragile.Not happy with the pick right now with no other QB being taken in the first round. Shoulda traded outta there or taken best available in Fairley Pouncey or Prince. We will see 3 years from now if this was a good move and we are back in the playoffs or if we are in LA.

    Nice Video, Good to see an NFL QB can throw the ball 50 yards when theres a holding penalty on the play.

  59. By Jim on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Injury prone? For those that say Ponder is injury prone, do a little research before you believe the hype. Do you remember that AP’s biggest knock, and the reason we got him, was that he was injury prone? How did that pick turn out? Again, quit your whining!!!

  60. By Ryan D on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    AP broke his Collerbone. Ponder is a QB and has throwing arm injuries. Its a little different. I dont think people are hating on Ponder, were hating on picking him at 12. When no other qb gets drafted in round 1 behind you there will obviously be a chance to get a qb in round 2. There will not be a chance to get nick fairley, pouncey or Prince in round 2.

  61. By Olson on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Btw- Tom Brady broke records while at Michigan State and had a 20-5 win/loss record when he started. He started his last two years and took his team to the Big Ten championship and won his junior year. His senior year he took them to the Orange Bowl and won that in OT. That’s a guy who wins under pressure. So yeah- no comparison to Tom Brady either…Tom Brady led his team to the big games and won. That’s the tenacity Dalton has. He doesn’t lose…not with a 43-7 record. Four of Dalton’s seven losses were all his freshman year. So he only lost 3 games overall for the next three seasons. He took his team to the big games and won also. He didn’t get named MVP in 3 out of 4 bowl games for nothing. He’s a leader. He plays well under pressure.

  62. By Yess on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    We just let the Detroit Lions add Nick Fairley to the D-line with Ndamukong Suh . Wow. I know we needed help at QB and i think Ponder has the most experience and all, but don’t We NEED D- line help?? We are getting very old there and Fairley was the best D-line person in the draft!!

  63. By Dagz on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    When will the Vikings introduce Ponder? I’m eager to see him in purple !!

  64. By vikingintexas on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    If you look back to the blog,”Not perfect pick, just right pick ” my comment on the 25th falls in line somewhat with what the vikes did. To recap a little, born in Texas, diehard Oilers fan, NFC Vikings fan since 70′s, after Oilers moved,Vikings became main team & will from now on. Checkout the comment on the 25th so you fools can maybe get a little smarter ! ( not meant for all ) Take the time, check it out, get smarter ! We down here are born with a football, not a puck ! — On the 1st pick: I wish I would have chosen move up the ladder in coaching so maybe the last few years I would have had the, ” powers that be’s ” ears. 1) If you are willing to take Ponder at 12 , than you could have taken OL at 12 and traded up & taken Ponder before the wave of teams that would take a QB come up. He would have been worth the picks; ( 2nd this year, 1st next,?, most likely ) YOU PICKED HIM AT 12 ! — Look at what happened, bears & packers took O-line. Depth is all but gone. I can only hope you guys planned for this. — As on the 25th, Ponder was my pick, just not now. This team has 1 maybe 2 years to make a run, NOW ! Carson is the dream, but a vet. QB is a must ! — I wrote this like I was writing it to the Vikings; I hope I’m not still dreaming !

  65. By Lee on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Dagz: you will see Ponder Friday… today!

  66. By Olson on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I think Ponder is just going to be average….just like he was in college. And YES I am a huge Viking fan! I care a lot about this decision because I want them to go all the way again and win THE BIG GAME – finally. I don’t think you should be happy all the time to “show’” support. Having nothing but “yes men” around you doesn’t help anybody – because you stay in the same rut and never truly improve. A good friend tells the truth even when it hurts. It’s not whining! It’s being passionate about something you love. You want to see good change.

  67. By VikeFan on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    To be honest I was shocked by the Titans. But no matter how you look at it the Vikings needed to pick a QB and they picked Ponder as our QB. If you thought it should have been some other pick. too bad.. We have stand behind the Vikings and hope Ponder can take his talent and become an outstanding NFL “Vikings” QB. Oh and to the fans of trade back theory. Three quarterbacks went in the top 10. Gabbert dropped to 10.. Our QB needed to be picked THERE..otherwise ..(oh ya pick up another ancient QB from FA) and wait yet another year to address the QB vacancy. Shh! we have heard it all.

  68. By Chilly4Life on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    All the sudden Ponder is the best QB in the draft? You guys are freakin’ out of your minds.

  69. By Jim on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    When it’s all said and done, no one on here, or anywhere for that matter, has any clue how Ponder will pan out. “Sure thing” picks turn out to be duds all the time, and “he sucks” picks can turn out great. Again, no one here knows how this is going to turn out. We just have to hope that it does work out. All current or former professional football scouts, coaches, etc. that are posting on here, please, raise your hand?

  70. By Vikoholic on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    We need 3QBs on this roster. Ponder and Webb have completely different skill sets. A veteran QB would also add an additional/different dimension. We may need this type of mix, spread the risk, and see what develops. There’s no easy solution here. Let’s give them a chance to figure in out. GO VIKES!

  71. By Meekay on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I’m sure Ponder will be good in the pocket. Now we just have to find him a pocket to play in.

  72. By SD Viking Fan on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    There are alot of good points why Dalton would have been a better pick than Ponder. However, if the vikings don’t do something with the O line in this draft or in free agency it will not matter who is QB, they will end up like Favre, broken and beat up! The defence was ranked 8th last year, even though there is some room for improvement and I hated to see us pass on players like Fairley, Pouncy and Quinn but I understand the need to get a QB for the future. In the 2nd round they need to build the O line. From there in the 4th round take the best player available that fits a need.

  73. By xvike on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Well from looking at stats, dalton beats ponder by far but i’m sure the vikes know what they are doing. You didn’t spend time and get to know each one as well as they did so you can’t say that Dalton would’ve been the better pick. There was probably something about ponder that they really liked. Probably because he was really smart and from what i hear, learns quickly. And i don’t just mean book smart. I mean the vikings rarely draft qb’s in the first round and spielman never has even though qb was a need for us for several years. If they were willing to take this guy this high, then there’s definitely something we all don’t know about him yet. Besides, i think this guy is set up for success here in mn. Any qb actually but because the fact that he played in a pro style offense and west coast offense, it should be that much easier for him to find success. The only concern i have is his arm strength and the oline. If he can improve his arm strength just a bit and they can address and improve the oline, i think the vikings will have a good season next year.

  74. By inspired on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I love this pick. After watching video on the kid and reading about him, I think he is great! He is tough. He is smart. He is accurate. And even though some say he lacks arm stength, I watched a youtube video of hime throwing a 50+ yard TD in 2009.

    Also, he was considered by many to be the most NFL ready QB in the class. He plays in a West Coast Offense. Well guess what, our new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave will be implementing a similar offense.

    Any Vikings fan that does not like this pick, must not pay attention to the vikings scheme…. because this kid is a perfect fit.

  75. By Big Red on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    All of you guys saying that Ponder is a so-so QB, that he isn’t going to be any good, need to have faith, because you all guessing that he is gonna be a waste need to wait and see what he does. A true Vikings fan will give this kid a chance, before making bogus criticism. You never know what will happen!! That said, good luck to him.

  76. By garrett1212 on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Definitely need to give him time before jumping to conclusions. I remember scratching my head when we took AP since Taylor had a big year previously. Thought we could have used that pick to address other areas of need. That worked out great in the end. Who knows with any QB drafted year to year. 3-4 years from now we all might be sighing with relief we didn’t draft another QB. Newton, Locke, Gabbert could all end up being busts.

  77. By Nick on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Move on now guys, Paea in round 2, then Ryan Bartholomew – quality straight down the middle!

  78. By Norseman on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I dont know if you guys have watched many of the ponder highlights or failures for that matter. but please do so before you bellow. Ponder is a good quick acurate passer to the flats and slants. his ball placement allows the recievers yardage after. when he beats Webb (no offense Joe) for the starting spot Percy, Visanthe, and Jimmy are all gonna have a freaking amazing season. This kid will get the defense spread. so even though we will have to face Suh and Fairly 2x a season it wont be too hard to get past them on the edges and when the spread to cover edged AP will run it down the center….. That said, it will be nice to have an Intelligent team leader at QB. I dont remember the last one we had in that slot.

  79. By Woodboat on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I’m not knocking the kids ability. He may very well be a top notch QB… but not anytime soon with the state of our team. Everyone likes to point at the weapons on the team and think we are set. The problem is, folks, you gotta have the horses up front to block for these guys, and we DON’T HAVE THEM. Peterson has to have a hole in order to run between the tackles, and he doesn’t get them. Opposing defenses don’t have to crash the line to apply pressure, leaving OLBs to guard the edges. On pass plays, our line can’t stop the blitz, and have a hard time blocking the front 4 on normal rushes. Ponder may be a good pocket passer, but that assumes he has a pocket to stand in.

  80. By Woodboat on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Personally, I think they should have grabbed Prince A. with the 12th, and took their chances on grabbing a QB with their second.

  81. By Woodboat on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder was probably the best choice at QB for the Vikes this season. The line can’t hold long enough for a big armed guy to wait on his receivers. A smart guy that has the accuracy to throw the quick hitters is probably our best bet. I hope he can take a beating, because he’s going to.

  82. By vikingfan on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Vikes did what they could do. Moving down was not an option, no one was offering to move up. If Bowers falls to us at 43, that would be a huge blessing. If not, I say pick up a guy who can play RG on the line or maybe that Paea guy who’s a DT. I’d even like to see them maybe get Rahim Moore the S out of UCLA. Any of those will be good in my book. Then in the 4th through 6th rounds is where the Vikes really need to draft heavily on defense and on the O-Line, depending on that 43rd pick. 4th through 6th are very crucial rounds in every draft, it’s what separates the idiots from the geniuses. Smart picks equal rings, dumb picks equal a better draft selection for the next five years.

  83. By Geiber on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Is it just me or am i the only one who heard the redskins were “Highly” interested in ponder once locker was picked. Im guessing if we hadnt picked ponder at #12, skins wouldve picked him at #16 or what ever they traded back to.

  84. By Geiber on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    Ponder is not that injury prone he hurt his shoulder when he tackled the player who intercepted his ball which couldve easily been avoided, and the other thing is he had fluid build up in his throwing arm, which wasnt of his doing and is fixed as you saw at senior bowl.

  85. By Huy on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    We passed on Fairley for a reason…How many D-linemen have we drafted in the 1st round that turn out great ?

  86. By Rocksalt on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    I hope this works out.

  87. By Rocksalt on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    good points, woodboat

  88. By Parody on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    DTs have been pretty successful for the Vikes. We’ve only drafted 5 in the team’s history, but they were all successful. K.Williams, Chris Hovan,Keith Millard and Alan Page were all great picks, while Mark Mullaney was no slouch.

    It’s DEs that have been busts for us in the first round, for whatever reason. We’ve selected ten of these guys, and while Chris Doleman and Carl Eller did great, we’ve busted on James, Udeze, Underwood, Clemens, Alexander, Robinson, Martin and Halloway.

  89. By Parody on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    So 7 of 15 d-linemen turned out great. But the majority of them were DTs, where we haven’t had a true bust from yet.

  90. By dermot hogan on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    lads im probably the only vikings fan in ireland and have to say ponder looks like a real star for us in the furture.

  91. By purple blood in DC on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply


  92. By Brian on Apr 29, 2011 | Reply

    For everyone looking at “Ponders” win/loss%. Go back and look at FSU’s defense in 09 and you will see why real quick. PATHETIC. Ponder played really well but the defense couldn’t stop anyone at anytime that year. Losses aren’t always on the qb

  93. By ryan on May 2, 2011 | Reply

    Playing with Joe Webb in college I learned one thing. He’s a winner. He will find a way to win the starting job and keep it for many years. This pick look like a complete waste in a couple years.

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