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April 28, 2011
After watching three quarterbacks selected in the first round, the Minnesota Vikings decided they needed to get their guy.
That guy was former Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder, who at No. 12 overall in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft became the highest drafted Seminole quarterback in school history.
"Christian Ponder has done a great job in college and we fully expect him to do a great job for us as well," Vikings Head coach Leslie Frazier said during his draft press conference. "I think it's a great night for the Minnesota Vikings."
As he battled a forearm injury for much of the season, Ponder threw for 2,038 yards, 20 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He also added four scores on the ground.
The injuries hurt the Colleyville, Texas native's draft stock a bit, but with an impressive Senior Bowl performance (7-for-13 for a 132 yards and two touchdowns) that included MVP honors, and a good showing at the NFL Combine, Ponder worked his way into the first round.
"Christian Ponder had a huge draft process starting at the senior bowl where he was named the game's MVP," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said after Ponder was selected.
Ponder will have a good shot at playing right away as the Vikings will be looking replace Bret Favre who retired at the end of the 2010 season (this time for good). Favre, threw for 2,509 yards, 11 touchdown and 19 interceptions in his final season.
Both his backups Joe Webb and Tavaris Jackson saw action during the 2010 season as Favre was held out with an injured shoulder."I want it to still be an open competition with the guys that are still on our roster," Frazier said when asked if it was Ponder's job to lose.