Vikings Draft Ponder Too Early

Vikings Draft Ponder Too Early

You'd think that any quarterback not named Tarvaris Jackson would receive a roar of approval from Vikings fans.

Think again.

With the crowd at the Vikings draft party worked into a frenzy over the possible selection of cornerback Prince Amukamara - "Prince! Prince! Prince!" - the announcement of the selection of Christian Ponder turned out to be about as popular as the notion of a Brad Childress Appreciation Day.

Boooo!

Ponder is what I'd call a "tweener." He was selected right between two guys who could really have helped the Vikings. Defensive end J.J. Watt, out of Wisconsin, went No. 11 overall to Houston. The Lions grabbed defensive tackle Nick Fairley at No. 13. In between, vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman reeeeaaached for Ponder.

"The kid is very poised under pressure," Spielman noted.

He better be. He's going to have defensive lineman crawling up his leg unless the Vikings find a way to get some decent protection for him, and their other quarterbacks, over the next two days. But it was obvious that the Vikings were infatuated with Ponder. And coach Leslie Frazier has been obsessed about the quarterback position since the end of the season.

"Very rarely do you get a chance to take a swing at a young quarterback," Spielman noted.

Actually, pass-rushing linemen will be taking swings at him all season. The Vikings really need help on both lines. Again, maybe they'll find it before the draft is over. But

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