NFL Draft 2011: The Vikings’ Reach for Christian Ponder

As seen on

I understand that the Minnesota Vikings are in need of a quarterback to replace three-time retiree Brett Favre, but come on… Christian Ponder? The guys were saying that he looks like a Chad Pennington-esque player.

I hardly see that as a complement…

Ponder being taken with the 12th overall pick was an ironic choice. After Blaine Gabbert dropped from a potential top three pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 10, it appeared that teams were going to respect the lack of depth and quality of this QB class by waiting to draft them.

In comes the Vikings. The team that was one play away from the Super Bowl two years ago, only to end up as the new Detroit Lions of the NFC North last season.

It’s not like they don’t have talent though. Adrian Peterson in my opinion is the best overall back in the league. Percy Harvin won offensive player of the year award and joins Sidney Rice and Bernard Berrian to round out an explosive wide receiving core.

But with all those weapons, why draft a quarterback without an arm?

Ponder’s arm strength is considered below average amongst his piers of the 2011 draft class…and this is not an impressive class. The Vikings were better off trading back, getting a few more late round picks, and drafting Ryan Mallett.

Mallet seems to me like the most equipped QB to thrive in the NFL right away. The Arkansas quarterback has long been considered to have an elite arm, frequently unleashing bombs that made opposing QB’s look like high-schoolers.

The Vikings get a C- on their first round pick. The only reason they don’t fail is because I like the intent, it was the execution that was lacking.

For more draft analysis, check out these comparisons of some of the 2011 pro prospects.

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