Christian Ponder’s Draft Stock Continues to Climb
Christian Ponder enters the NFL Draft after a solid career at Florida State. Over the past three seasons, he has shown that he can effectively lead a team, while raising his level of play and accuracy over his final two seasons. He has enough talent to make it at the next level, but he never impressed scouts until the Combine. Despite a nagging forearm injury that nearly kept him out of the throwing portion of the combine, Ponder made all the throws asked of him and impressed scouts with his footwork.
While Cam Newton and other quarterbacks struggled, Ponder was believed by many to be the most impressive passer at the Combine. His skill set makes him interesting for teams who run west coast-type offenses. While it’s uncertain where Ponder will end up and with 10+ teams in need of a quarterback in the draft, Ponder is a consideration in the latter half of the first round. At the latest, he figures to go in the second.Christian Ponder joined WQXI in Atlanta to talk about how often he finds himself online looking at mock drafts and reports on how he did during workouts, if he was relieved to show he was healthy at the combine, if teams gave him suggestions on how to improve his game, his thoughts upon hearing the NFLPA was asking players not to go to New York for the Draft, and what were his lowest and highest points of his career at Florida State.
How often he finds himself online looking at mock drafts and reports on how he did during workouts:
“Not a whole lot. I don’t look up myself but I always have friends or family that is like, ‘Oh look, somebody has you in the first round’ and then they will send it to me, and then I will take a look at it, but you can’t really put too much weight into those mock drafts.”
If it was relieving to show he was healthy at the Combine:
“It was great. It was a great opportunity to show that I am healthy and it all started at the Senior Bowl. I had battled some injuries through my senior year and there was a lot of misunderstanding that it was my elbow was injured and that my elbow was all messed up, but it is was actually more of my forearm that was hurt, there was no ligament damage or anything, it was almost like a really bad rug burn that just kept swelling up. Just to get all of that into the open and all cleared up was a big advantage for me and a great opportunity. I enjoyed that whole Combine experience, it was a dream come true for me.”
What are some suggestions teams have given him as far as what he needs to improve upon in his game:
“They didn’t really give that information. It was kind of more of an evaluation. We sat in the film room, watched some game tape that they would try to teach me something about their offense and I would have to regurgitate that information and we would go out and throw. There really wasn’t much of, ‘Tell me what I need to work on’, there is not really much time now to change it or show them that I have improved on something before the draft happens.”
His thoughts upon hearing the NFLPA was asking players not to go to New York for the Draft:
“I mean I understand where it is coming from. Obviously, the NFLPA is trying to gain some leverage with what is going on but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these guys, you know I was not invited to New York, so I am not going, but if I was I was I would probably go. I mean everyone else got their one-time in the spotlight and I think it would not be fair for the guys who were invited to take that away from them.”
What were his lowest and highest points of his career at Florida State:
“The low point, it was probably my junior year, the Clemson game, ninth game of the year, and I threw my fourth interception and went and tried to level the guy that caught the ball, the safety, and once I did that I separated my AC joint, I had a third-degree separation, I had to have surgery… My most memorable moment was beating the crap out of Florida this past year at home. We beat them 31-7. They had beat us six-straight years and for us to win in that manner at home, it was the best atmosphere I had seen at Florida State in a long time and I enjoyed every minute of it.”