50 in 50: Christian Ponder - QB - Florida State (2 of 50)

Quarterback seem to be perhaps the 49ers largest area of concern. There's little doubt that if Alex Smith is re-signed that he will be the only egg on the Niners basket.

In evaluating this years quarterback class, it seems like the consensus would suggest that there aren't too many viable options to go after as the starter for years to come. 

However, sometimes stars emerge from the mid to late rounds... and even as undrafted free agents from time to time like Tony Romo and Kurt Warner.

Last year, there were several quarterbacks that I profiled. If you didn't get a chance to look at any of the posts from the last off-season, you can go here to check them out and see how I did with the predictions. There were a few that I was off by a few rounds but for the most part, I was really accurate.

With that, let's take a look at the Florida State quarterback...

Here are a few highlights of Ponder. Most of these come from his junior year before he started piling up the injuries. Remember, in viewing these that they are only his highlights. He makes some pretty sound throws, but there's been too many low lights to suggest that Ponder can be a starter in the NFL.

I watched Ponder for the last few years relatively closely. At first, he was an intriguing prospect to me until he started blowing games in the 4th  quarter single handedly. The one that sticks out the most to me was 2009's opening game against Miami. I happened to watch the entire game that year, so I know just how terrible the throws were to Fortson. If you would like to see for yourself, you can check here to reference the play-by-play.

Florida State was ranked 18th in the nation and looking to make a run at a National Championship that year. But at the hands of Christian Ponder, it was nearly an impossible feat. 

My overall evaluation of Ponder is not completely negative because he does do some things well. However, he doesn't do enough things good for me to consider him as ever making it in to that elite category. In my estimation, I believe that Ponder will never amount to more than a career back up at the next level.

If he had as many struggles as he did at the college level, then how is he going to be any better as a pro?

 

Here are a look at Christian Ponder's career stats and last years season stats:

Stats Overview

Passing

YEAR

CMP

ATT

YDS

CMP%

YPA

LNG

TD

INT

SACK

RAT

2007

8

18

105

44.4

5.83

28

1

2

0

89.55

2008

177

318

2006

55.7

6.31

54

14

13

19

115.00

2009

227

330

2717

68.8

8.23

98

14

7

15

147.70

2010

184

299

2044

61.5

6.84

44

20

8

23

135.68

 

2010 Regular Season Game Log

Passing

Rushing

DATE

OPP

RESULT  

CMP

ATT

YDS

CMP%

LNG

TD

INT

RAT

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

9/4

Samford

W 59-6

12

14

167

85.7

21

4

1

265.92

2

7

3.5

11

0

9/11

@Oklahoma

L 47-17

11

28

113

39.3

21

0

2

58.90

9

23

2.6

15

0

9/18

Brigham Young

W 34-10

14

21

149

66.7

34

1

0

141.98

13

50

3.8

18

1

9/25

Wake Forest

W 31-0

24

37

243

64.9

28

2

0

137.87

11

11

1.0

13

1

10/2

@Virginia

W 34-14

17

29

172

58.6

38

1

0

119.82

10

17

1.7

12

0

10/9

@Miami (FL)

W 45-17

13

22

173

59.1

31

2

1

146.06

4

15

3.8

10

0

10/16

Boston College

W 24-19

19

31

170

61.3

23

2

3

109.29

8

-5

-0.6

9

0

10/28

@North Carolina State

L 28-24

17

28

196

60.7

30

1

0

131.30

11

21

1.9

8

2

11/6

North Carolina

L 37-35

24

34

264

70.6

41

3

0

164.93

11

13

1.2

14

0

11/13

Clemson

W 16-13

Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

11/20

@Maryland

W 30-16

16

26

170

61.5

44

1

1

121.46

9

7

0.8

11

0

11/27

Florida

W 31-7

16

24

221

66.7

39

3

0

185.26

7

18

2.6

10

0

12/4

@Virginia Tech

L 44-33

Did Not Play or did not accumulate any stats.

 

2010 Postseason Game Log

Passing

Rushing

BOWL

OPP

RESULT  

CMP

ATT

YDS

CMP%

LNG

TD

INT

RAT

ATT

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

Chick-fil-A BOWL

South Carolina

W 26-17

1

5

6

20.0

6

0

0

30.08

5

3

0.6

8

0

 

 

Summary: Ponder  lacks exceptional footwork which can be seen in the video above. As Bill Walsh used to express many years ago, footwork is the key element in success with the West-Coast offense which is why it's strange that there have been a few in the national media that have speculated that he would be a good fit with a team that runs it. His timing on routes at Florida State were a bit behind, in front of, high, or low as well. The lack of proper footwork can be attributed to that. Overall, as mentioned above, I think that Ponder is going to make a career out of carrying a clipboard and drinking Gatorade. Beyond that, he may see mop up time and filling in for injured elite quarterbacks.

PREDICTION: 3rd - 4th Round. It's possible that Ponder could sneak in to the back half of the 2nd round but anything beyond that would be considered a gigantic reach.

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