The Vikings surprisingly nab Ponder with their first-round pick. He has all of the leadership skills, intelligence and intangibles to be an effective starting quarterback, but the Vikings will need to tweak their offense to suit his skills as a quick-rhythm passer. He might not be ready to assume the mantle in Week 1, but he could be better than anyone anticipates as a pro quarterback.
Ponder's a fit for a West Coast team that would allow him to use his good footwork and proficiency in the short passing game. Could become a starter if given time and decision making improves. Uses his feet to buy extra time, leave the pocket to throw, or take off and running for first downs. Exhibits the physical and mental toughness you like to see. Has enough arm strength but doesn't put elite zip on the ball and will try to fit it into too many tight spots downfield. Ponder has slowly climbed up boards, and he is almost certain to go in the second round.
Ponder's very tight and sound in his drop. Accelerates quickly when escaping the pocket. Will make plays in the open field after tucking. Can buy time with his feet and keep his eyes downfield. Does a good job in the short passing game getting the ball out quickly with accuracy. Exhibits great leadership qualities and toughness.
Must improve his overall decision making and awareness. Will lock onto his first option and struggle to move through his progressions. Can appear lost when making incorrect pre-snap read. Takes too many chances and puts the ball in harms way too often. Doesn't possess good deep ball accuracy. Has an injury history.
Analysis from NFL.com.