EDEN PRAIRIE (WCCO) — The boos that Vikings fans issued last night, with the announcement of FSU’s quarterback Christian Ponder as the Vikings first round pick, will soon be replaced by watchful eyes and evaluation. So, could he be the one — the quarterback who emerges into a pro bowler?
Ponder, of Florida State, has some qualities in leadership, an obvious aptitude for learning –illustrated by his Master’s degree — and is not afraid to be a playmaker.
“I think my intelligence is a big advantage for me and puts me ahead of the game,” Ponder said. “I agree, I feel like I’m a lot more intelligent than people give me credit for. I feel like I can shake and bake a bit.”
The fact that he’s been hindered by injuries, to his throwing shoulder and elbow, has made a more difficult evaluation for the fans. Now, the home work the team did will be put to a test.
“Great team. Great organization. A great fit for me,” he said.
On Friday, Ponder arrived at Winter Park in Eden Prairie well aware of what this is about, which comes from playing for a big time school in a big time conference. He understands not everyone had him on their draft board in the same slot.
“I feel like I really am the full package at quarterback,” said Ponder.
He met with Vikings coaches before the draft and was a bit surprised.
“It was funny,” said Ponder. “We ran a lot of the same plays (at Florida State), a lot of the same pass protections, and so it was very similar. And that gives me a lot of confidence in coming into this role right now.”