April 23, 2014

Draft Profile: Christian Ponder

Leading up to the draft, Who Dey Live will be profiling a number of players who could be targets for the Bengals based on their position or their expected draft spot.

Here are my own thoughts on Florida State’s Christian Ponder.

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Position:  Quarterback

Size:  6’2″ – 229 pounds

What I like: Ponder has pretty good size for the position and has performed well in the postseason practices and all-star games. He’s played against top-level competition and has performed pretty well. He also appears to be a good fit for the West Coast offense that Jay Gruden will be installing this season.

What I don’t like: Perhaps it’s not the most scientific measure, but I prefer to see quarterback prospects dominate during their college years. Ponder didn’t exactly do that and some might even debate if he was a genuine difference maker. That concept makes me uneasy. Ponder also has a bit of injury history, which could be an even bigger problem behind an unstable Cincinnati line.

Final thoughts: Ponder’s biggest positive might be that he isn’t expected to get drafted until the second round or later. If Cincinnati can add a playmaker or two before selecting him, I think it will make everyone happier, myself included. I’d much rather see the Bengals take a chance on a franchise quarterback after they have selected someone who will help out immediately. For that reason, I find Ponder and the rest of the second-tier quarterbacks more attractive than Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert.