2011 NFL Draft Player Profile | Christian Ponder
Christian Ponder enters the NFL Draft with a solid career at Florida State. He’s shown over the past three seasons that he can effectively lead a team, while raising his level of play and accuracy over his final two seasons.
Ponder has enough talent to make it at the next level, but simply doesn’t blow scouts away. He’ll need a good showing at the 2011 NFL Combine to raise his stock, as he is somewhat limited physically.
Player Name: Christian Ponder
School: Florida State
Hand: 10 1/4
Ponder is an under-rated prospect, as he is a great leader and competitor, while possessing solid all-round tools and intangibles. Is more athletic than he looks and has solid mobility. Obviously not a freak athlete, but can do a little damage on the run. Is very accurate on short and intermediate passes. Stays in the pocket and is very decisive with great timing when well protected. Has faced and played well against tough competition throughout his career. Has experience working under center, unlike many other quarterback prospects. Is adept at reading defenses and going through progressions. Not just a checkdown quarterback. Has shown he can make just about all the throws. Has very good throwing mechanics and a nice, quick release.
Like most quarterback prospects that see their draft stock fall, Ponder has only average arm strength. In addition, his deep balls can often sag or wobble, leading to incompletions or even interceptions. When pass protection breaks down, he can seem lost and will even panic. Tends to force throws when he shouldn’t, especially with pressure on him. Had two major injuries in the past two seasons, missing time with a separated shoulder and elbow injury, making durability a concern.
Ponder is a very accurate and smart passer. He’s ready for the pros in terms of reading defenses, making most of the throws, and leading a team. However, his arm strength and erratic behavior when facing pressure drops him down a few spots. A good combine showing could change his stock, but he’s likely looking at a selection in the third round.
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