NEW YORK — The first big shock of the draft didn’t last long.
It went precisely four picks, from the time the Titans took Jake Locker eighth overall until the Vikings made Christian Ponder the 12th pick overall and the fourth quarterback selected in the draft.
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said throughout the draft process that the organization wanted to find a quarterback for offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave to develop. Now the Vikings have hitched their wagon to Ponder.
“Ponder had a huge draft process, starting at the Senior Bowl,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. ”He had an average senior season with a bad elbow. But he drove the ball with accuracy at the Senior Bowl and was the MVP of the game. He’s a QB with a West Coast skill set. When I look at Ponder, who has a slightly above average arm and good feet, he’s smart and a good leader.
“(Vice president of player personnel) Rick Spielman is tied at the hip with this young quarterback. Man, he’s betting an awful lot on a kid that most thought would go between 25 and 40.”
The last time four quarterbacks went in the first 12 picks of a draft was 1999: Tim Couch (Browns, No. 1), Donovan McNabb (Eagles, No. 2), Akili Smith (Bengals, No. 3) and Daunte Culpepper (Vikings, No. 11).