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A Brief Look at Christian Ponder

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When reaching myself out as a larger member of FG, I frequently told people how helpless I'd be on draft coverage, since I barely followed the past year of college football and avoid mock drafts like the plague. Still, I'd like to at least sound semi-informed about the draft prospects Seattle may pick up. Jake Locker is officially a "dead horse" topic, but I want to spend some time looking at his peer: Christian Ponder.

My one source of scouting lies in this "highlights" video. While a small sample size, 9:37 minutes are a good enough time for my first impressions of Ponder's prospects in the NFL. Please forgive the horrible rap music as we go through each play.

0:18 - Ponder fakes the end-around, turns back to the middle of the LOS, steps up, and tosses it to a way-too-open WR 15 yards down the field on the left side. Good play execution, good awareness.

0:49 - What I see here is a bad process rewarded by good luck and/or result. Ponder takes the snap, backs up around five yards, with a good pocket protecting him. He still needlessly panics, and throws off his backfoot. The ball flew in a wonderful wobbly spiral to the WR on the left sideline, and manages to escape the CB's out-stretched hands. He will not get away with those throws in the NFL.

1:24 - The Seminoles call a QB run play, and Ponder executes it with beauty. I've heard some Jake Locker comparisons with Ponder before. I'd rather not hear them in this thread.

2:00 - Ponder again makes a risky throw into double coverage. He drops back, makes a faint attempt at stepping up, and fires the ball to the WR in the endzone, with two DBs blanketing him. I must emphasize, he will not get away with those throws in the NFL.

2:25 - I can't help but feel Ponder relies more on his receivers than his own ability. Lots of jump balls, timing tests of faith, and attempts at slinging into the hole hoping the WR finds it. This particular pass is an exception, but that's because the video is called "highlights." Ponder drops back, panics, hurls the ball off his backfoot, and the WR happens to catch it.

3:26 - Now this is what I want to see more often. Ponder sells the play-action, stands tall in the pocket, steps up and makes a beautiful pass to the open WR. I like his arm strength. I even like his arm accuracy more than Locker's.

5:05 - Speaking of Locker comparisons, Ponder takes the snap, reads his routes, doesn't like what he sees, and bursts through the middle of the LOS for a 1st down.

5:57 - Ponder somehow thinks it''s a good idea to throw the ball in triple coverage. Somehow this triple coverage thinks it's a good idea to let the one WR open for a catch.

The next four minutes are about the same. Christian Ponder is a good athlete with great arm strength, and he's not afraid of showing off that arm strength, even if it's at the risk of ignoring safer checkdown routes. He'll frequently forgo the high-percentage play in favor of the long yards. I admire this amount of balls in a QB, but tossing it to double and triple coverage, as well as throwing off your back foot, will not last you long in the NFL.

I like Christian Ponder, and think his flaws are very coachable. Hard to know if he'll be available at the #25 spot, but if he is, and there aren't any other glaring position needs at that spot (*coughPounceycough*), then the team should take a chance on him. If he falls to the 2nd round the Seahawks should jump on him without a second thought.