Christian Ponder Set Up For A Great Rookie Year?
Does Christian Ponder have the kind of team around him to succeed the way Mark Sanchez did with the Jets in his rookie year?
That was the question proposed to me. First off, I will define the “success” that Sanchez had during his rookie season as how far the Jets went into the playoffs, rather than how well the rookie signal-caller performed on the field — which didn’t impress me.
So, by those standards, I think the answer here is no. Of course, like every team in the NFL, free agency will have a major effect on the Vikings. They could lose exceptional players such as Ray Edwards and/or Sidney Rice. And they obviously will add some new faces during the process as well.
But still, I find it hard to believe that Minnesota ends up as a playoff team in 2011. I love Adrian Peterson. And if Rice is re-signed, the Vikings’ skill position players could be very strong with a starting unit of Peterson, Rice, Percy Harvin (another player I love), Visanthe Shiancoe and Kyle Rudolph as the base personnel. You could do a lot worse than surrounding a first-round rookie quarterback with those five.
And, I am very high on Ponder and see him as the most pro-ready quarterback in the 2011 draft class. He is smart, athletic and comes from a more advanced offensive system than many of his fellow high draft pick quarterbacks. I expect Ponder to adjust quite quickly to the NFL, all things considered.
While i’m obviously biased in this regard, I don’t believe the Vikings will do as poorly this season as some others write. As Matt discusses in this article the offense on this team is set up to succeed with a rookie QB. Yes the defense is starting to age and will likely lose Ray Edwards, however its still a very functional defense. I see the Vikings addressing the safety position and potentially getting a little more depth in CB. This team was hurt by injuries and our offense was simply not the same without Rice and an under performing offensive line. Look for the Vikings to rebound and their success to ride on the transition of rookie QB Christian Ponder.