Florida State senior quarterback Christian Ponder has been rising up draft boards since his standout performance at the Senior Bowl. He enters the 2011 NFL Draft as a top-10 passer in the eyes of many prognosticators.
In 2009, Ponder threw for 2,717 yards, 14 touchdowns and only seven interceptions despite missing the final four games of the season. He completed 68.8 percent of his attempts. Last year, he tossed a personal-best 20 touchdown passes to just eight interceptions.
- Very intelligent and smart with the football
- Athletic, mobile passer
- Leadership skills
Three-year starter with experience in a pro-style offense
Offers plenty to Ponder
- Strong enough arm to make most NFL throws
- NFL frame (6-foot-2, 229 pounds)
- Very good play-action passer
- Ideal for a West Coast system
- Tends to stare down receivers and may not understand defenses as well as he should
- Injury concerns (serious shoulder separation in 2009, two elbow surgeries)
- Throws a lot of passes into double coverage
- Deep outs and deep comeback throws are barely average in terms of drive and arm strength
- Appeared to take a step backward as a senior
- Has struggled against elite competition
Expected draft placement
Ponder has the intangibles to shine in the NFL, but his physical restraints as a passer and injury history will have some teams down on him. There is a very good chance he goes in the early second round, and the Minnesota Vikings would be a likely suitor in that event. They will be going to a more conventional West Coast offense in 2011, and that is right up Ponder's alley.
Other teams that could be interested in him: Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks. Of this group, consider the Titans, Redskins and Seahawks the most logical spots for him.
About Cory J. Bonini
Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.
Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.
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