After the initial whining, crying, and general gnashing of teeth over the Vikings "reaching" to select Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th overall pick, it appears that at least a few folks are finally saying that the pick maybe. . .just maybe. . .wasn't quite so bad and people should maybe let the guy play an actual game or two before passing judgement.
One of those people is Doug Farrar, who usually writes for Football Outsiders, but did a piece over the weekend for Yahoo! Sports over the weekend praising Ponder's talent. His last paragraph pretty much sums everything up.
Ponder has his work cut out for him in the NFL – he’s in a brutal NFC North division with elite pass rushers everywhere, and Minnesota’s offensive line is questionable to the point where people wonder if he’s going to be healthy enough to deal with the grind. However, based on the tape alone, there’s no question that Ponder projects well as a future franchise quarterback if he can stay healthy – tough, smart, resilient, and able to get things done against the odds. Enough quarterbacks have proven through time that these attributes are far more important than the ability to throw a football through a brick wall.
We've all seen enough videos to know that Ponder has above-average arm strength. . .he's not Dan Marino or anything, but very few quarterbacks are. What matters is that the guy can read a defense, and can process his reads and other information on the football field quickly. That's a whole lot more important than throwing the ball harder than everyone else. Also, according to Ponder, his arm troubles haven't been anything relating to actually throwing the football, which is good.
Another person who apparently likes our new quarterback quite a bit is Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, who met Ponder at the rookie premiere this weekend (where the earlier picture of Ponder playing catch with Kyle Rudolph came from). This is what Glazer had to say about Ponder when asked about it on "The Twitter."
See, it's amazing what happens when people take a minute or two to actually think about things and analyze them rather than simply running around and screaming "OH MY GOD WHAT A REACH I THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO GO IN THE SECOND ROUND AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!" Those people that fall into the second category are going to end up looking really dumb. . .it's just a matter of whether the next great Vikings' quarterback makes them look stupid starting this season or next season.