Back when the Minnesota Vikings selected quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, the criticism started within minutes. The most infamous of these criticisms was noted talent evaluation guru Trent Dilfer saying that Ponder was basically Elvis Grbac. For the record, Grbac threw 99 career TD passes to 81 career interceptions, compared to Dilfer's 113 career scores and 129 career picks. . .Dilfer was just fortunate enough to be able to ride one of the NFL's all-time great defenses to a Super Bowl.
For the record, the previous year Dilfer also said that the St. Louis Rams' selection of Sam Bradford was "catastrophic" and said that Jimmy Clausen was "by far" the best quarterback available in the 2010 NFL Draft. That would be the same Jimmy Clausen that was so awesome and showed so much potential that the Carolina Panthers waited all of 12 months before drafting his replacement.
So, he's got that going for him. . .which is nice.
But, anyway, back to Ponder. Gil Brandt, who served as the main personnel man for the Dallas Cowboys for the first 30 seasons of their existence, has a regular gig with NFL.com and the NFL Network, and has basically forgotten more about football than all of us put together will ever know did a "do over" of the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. According to Brandt, rather than a reach, it appears that the Vikings may have gotten a steal instead.
Brandt has Ponder going fifth in his do-over, with the Arizona Cardinals passing on stud cornerback Patrick Peterson to snag Ponder instead. His logic?
History says it's far easier to find a corner than a quarterback. Ponder has played really well in his two starts and his lack of arm strength would be mitigated by the fact that the Cardinals play indoors. He's very smart and recognizes things quickly. Peterson has started seven games and taken back two punts for touchdowns, but when you have continued issues under center that has to be your top priority. This also would have allowed the Cardinals to bypass the Kevin Kolb trade.
Hey, remember when the Vikings were rumored to be the suckers. . .er, the other team in a potential Kevin Kolb deal? Man, sure did dodge a bullet on that one.
In Brandt's do over, Ponder is the third quarterback taken overall, behind Cam Newton (who still went #1 to Carolina) and Andy Dalton (who jumped up to #2 overall and the Denver Broncos). He has Blaine Gabbert still going to Jacksonville at #10 overall, and the Vikings still taking a quarterback by grabbing Jake Locker at 12.
I know, some folks will say that eight or nine weeks into the 2011 NFL season is too early to be doing a "do over" of the most recent NFL Draft. Maybe. . .just maybe. . .15 minutes after a guy is drafted is a little early to be killing him as being a "bust" or a "reach" or "terribly overdrafted," too. Maybe the "experts" could. . .I don't know. . .let the guy attend an NFL mini-camp or something first, yeah?
(Thanks to NMVike for pointing this out in the FanPosts a few days back.)