Very quietly (at least until now), Florida State QB Christian Ponder has been an ascending prospect among the quarterback class in the 2011 NFL Draft. We’ll certainly take Mike Mayock’s word on this one.
Ponder recently made his way into Mayock’s top five position rankings, behind what is considered the first-tier of players at the position: Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett. A player he previously had grouped in his second-tier of quarterbacks along with Ricky Stanzi, Colin Kaepernick and Andy Dalton, Mayock looks at Ponder’s stock as rising as the draft gets closer.
“He’s a West Coast (scheme) quarterback who is smart, talented and a hard worker,” Mayock said. “He’s one of those guys that as we get closer to the draft, I think the more teams are going to like him. While we’re all focused on those first-level quarterbacks, don’t be surprised if Ponder continues to move up and very quietly teams fall in love with him.”
With a large number of teams — thought to be at least eight – possibly looking to address quarterback needs in the draft, an early run at the position could pull Ponder into the first round.