Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings draft Christian Ponder

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, Leslie Frazier, Leslie Frazier, Vikings rookies, Vikings draft Updated: April 28, 2011 - 8:28 PM

The Vikings, in a surprise, took Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th overall pick in the draft.

Cam Newton, Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert were all gone by the time the Vikings went on the board.

Here was the report we ran in last Sunday's paper in a feature on quarterbacks.

Christian Ponder, Florida State
Height/weight: 6-2/229
Upside: Another intelligent player — he earned his undergraduate degree in 2½ years — with good intangibles. Showed his toughness last season by playing despite a bruised triceps, a ruptured right bursa sac and a concussion.
Downside: Suffered a Grade-3 separation of his throwing (right) shoulder and underwent season-ending surgery nine games into the 2009 season. Also has a tendency to make curious decisions at times.
Statistically: Completed 184 of 299 passes
(61.5 percent) for 2,044 yards with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 12 games as a senior.
Getting to know you: A day before working out Newton, the Vikings brass made a stop in Tallahassee to put Ponder through a private session. He is considered a very good fit for a West Coast offense, but it is still not known how much of that system new Vikings coordinator Bill Musgrave will retain.

We'll have more on the choice and team reaction after a quick press conference with coach Leslie Frazier and VP Rick Spielman.

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