Carucci: Ponder going in first round

The most intriguing questions leading up to next week’s NFL draft — not surprisingly — center around the quarterbacks. Will the Panthers grab Cam Newton? Does Blaine Gabbert end up in Buffalo, Cincinnati or Arizona? Or even Denver, for that matter?

And then there is the matter of Ryan Mallett‘s character issues. Colin Kaepernick is a hot name rising. And Jake Locker was compared favorably to John Elway — by the man himself.

But what about Florida State’s Christian Ponder?

Ponder generated some early buzz at the Senior Bowl but has been relatively quiet since then. Well, at least when compared to some of the other players in the draft. But our Vic Carucci believes that there will be four quarterbacks taken in the first round this year — and Ponder is one of them (as he said during his weekly chat).

We pushed further to ask Carucci why Ponder makes it into the first round ahead of the other guys.

“He was the star of the Senior Bowl, and that left a strong impression on many NFL talent evaluators,” Carucci said. “He is extremely intelligent, a superb athlete, and shows tremendous command and leadership. Although he might not have the strongest of throwing arms, he has exceptional accuracy and has demonstrated steady improvement in his mechanics to the point where any lingering issues are viewed as correctable.”

Now the only question remains, which team will be taking a chance on him?

As for the rest of Carucci’s Friday chat, here’s the transcript.

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