In light of the NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora’s report earlier today that suggested that the Dolphins don’t have much interest in former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, maybe the prospects of Christian Ponder being a top the team’s wish list are improving.
Although, that report seems pretty ludicrous to me. Not saying the Dolphins are seriously considering Ryan Mallett, maybe they’re not. We are talking about a regime that prefers high character guys and a quarterback who is extremely questionable in the character department, after all.
But there’s no way the Dolphins would let it be known if they really had no intent of drafting Mallett. It’s not the Dolphins’ style, or really any team for that matter, to tip their hand a whole month before the draft. So if the Dolphins really leaked that type of information out to the public, it screams smokescreen.
But enough about Mallett, today’s post is dedicated to Christian Ponder, a guy who I believe the Dolphins are intrigued by to say the least. If you like playing the comparison game, let’s move from focusing on a prospect like Mallett, who has similar attributes to Chad Henne, to a guy who could be the next Chad Pennington, in Christian Ponder.
I believe Ponder will still be on the board when the Dolphins are on the clock with the 15th overall pick, but if they are able to trade down until later in the first, they could still possibly snag him. That may be risky, though, as Ponder is a guy whose stock has been on the rise as of late and could be higher up on draft boards inside NFL war rooms than you would think.
School: Florida St.
Size: 6-3, 227
Projected Round: 1-2
Pros: May be the most NFL ready of any quarterback prospect in this year’s class. May be the most accurate passer as well, as a guy who has the potential to be surgical in between the hashes. He’s also very intelligent, boasting a 3.7 GPA at Florida St. Unlike Mallett, Ponder is a trustworthy kid, with a good head on his shoulders. He would be the type of leader you could build a team around.
Another huge upside to Ponder’s game is his athletic ability. No, he isn’t on the same level as some of the athletes coming out this year like Cameron Newton and Colin Kaepernick, but he has the athleticism and footwork to keep plays alive in the pocket.
If it weren’t for a senior season plagued by injuries, we may be talking about Ponder going in the top ten. He regressed his senior season after a breakout junior campaign, which may be a key reason why he isn’t being thought of as an elite prospect. But during the draft scouting process, it’s been clear that Ponder is back to 100%, and he’s been throwing the football as well as he ever has in pre-draft workouts.
Cons: Physically, most scouts would probably tell you Christian Ponder’s ceiling is a little lower than the other top quarterback back prospects in this year’s draft. A lot of that has to do with concerns about his arm strength. Ponder had the tendency to float passes towards the sideline on occasion and there is legitimate doubt about whether or not he will be able to stretch the field when need be.
There is also concern about why Ponder wasn’t able to put up great numbers at Florida St. His 170 yard per game average last season doesn’t exactly fit the bill of what you would expect out of a first-round pick. Like I said before, a lot of that had to do with his health, but that brings us to another point. The great quarterbacks in this league are reliable week in and week out. A quarterback that is injury prone could have the fan base holding their breath with each and every released injury report.