Florida State QB Christian Ponder, The Draft Study

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High School

Christian Ponder attended Colleyville Heritage High School graduating in 2005 and redshirting at Florida State in 2006. Ponder would go on to be the player that could’ve been amazing but injuries kept him from bringing a Heisman to the Seminoles. Ponder seemed to recover from these injuries in the 2011 off-season winning the MVP of the Senior Bowl. We’ll come back to this later.

 

Florida State

As mentioned, Ponder redshirted the 2006 season at Florida State and started from 2007-2010 playing in really only 3 seasons. Ponder only started one game of 2007 as he was not yet the starter. In 2008, Ponder took over and never looked back while leading the team to its first 9-win season since 2004. In 2009, Ponder was really becoming a nationwide star. He was discussed as basically the next, big thing. Unfortunately, Ponder had to have season-ending surgery on his shoulder after making a gutsy tackle. Like Ryan Mallet, Arkansas QB, 2010 was supposed to be “his” year.

Link to Bio on Florida States website. (excludes 2010 season for some reason)

In 2010 Ponder began the season with a chance for the Heisman. He suffered from shoulder problems as early as October and this affected his throwing motion and kept him from playing as well as he was able to. This, of course, dropped Ponder from Heisman contingency. Ponder was still able to lead the Seminoles to a 9-3 record and #20 ranking. Ponder even suited up for the ACC Championship game but did not play because his coach wanted to give Ponder a chance to get healthy. (link)

A Blessing In Disguise?

Posted Oct/2010, Ponder on his shoulder injury:

“I think it’s actually become a blessing in disguise,” Ponder said Monday morning. “I’m starting to use my core more, which is something I got away from this year.”

The Injuries

Is he injury prone?

Ponder suffered a season-ending separated shoulder in the ninth game of the 2009 season, leaving scouts concerned about his arm strength.

In 2010, he suffered a forearm injury in the sixth game against Miami, in which tissue separated from his muscle and formed a pocket of fluid when he landed on it. He would get the forearm drained during the week and be ready to play on Saturday, only to have the injury reoccur each game.

Ponder goes on to mention in the article that the injuries (shoulder and forearm) are behind him (after surgery) and that he will be the hardest worker on whatever team drafts him. Excellent to hear. Does it make you comfortbale? Consider this, Ponder has the most experience of any quarterback in a Pro-Style system. He is a highly accurate passer when healthy. Consider his 68.8% completion percentage from 2009 (the not-injured year). Watch him play and you’ll see that he has an amazing touch on the ball. This means he knows what speed to throw it. His main problem throwing is that he doesn’t have a rocket arm. However, neither did Matt Hasselbeck when he was on top of his game. Jeff Garcia had that same problem at the Pro Bowl. Come to think of it, Drew Brees had that arm-strength issue when he won MVP of the Super Bowl. Where’s the line, though? When do you say that a guy has enough of everything else to overcome arm strength issues? I’ll tell you. When they are smart and accurate. Ponder is both. He graduated FSU in 2 and a half years with a degree in finance. Maybe it’s becuase im, as the Spaniards say, muy horrible at math that this impresses me, but it translates to “he works”. You just need to know he fits your system.

Ponder also had a concussion in the Chic-Fil-A Bowl at the end of 2010. His last game as a Seminole. It truly is unfortunate.

ESPN STATS:

2009/JR Year:

  • 68.8% completion
  • 8.23 yards per attempt
  • 14 TDs, 7 INTs, 15 times sacked
  • 2,717 yards passing
  • 330 attempts passing
  • 72 carries for 179 yards
  • 0 fumbles

2010/SR Year:

  • 299 pass attempts
  • 61.5% completion
  • 6.8 yards per attempt
  • 20 TDs, 8 INTs, 23 times sacked
  • 2,044 yards passing
  • 100 attempts for 180 yards rushing
  • 0 fumbles

Now, let’s see what they’re sayin….

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Topics: 2011 NFL Draft, Christian Ponder, Florida State, Jaguars Draft, Quarterback

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