Ponder has been in the league 2 seasons. He is still growing but I am pretty much at the same place with him I was with Jackson after 2 years in that I don't think he has the mental makeup to be a franchise QB. It would have been nice to see how he handled a playoff game but even without that if he doesn't show a command of the offense and an understanding of the weaknesses of the defenses he faces on day one by starting to exploit them in the passing game then you can stick a fork in him too.
The other important stat. for a QB is the TD to Int. ratio. That improved in Ponders second year and is similar to what we've seen with the development of other successful QB's in the league.
Never the less, areas of concern are abundant and I doubt Vikings fans will be very tolerant of another year of mediocre or poor play.
Rarely will a team go far with a QB who is dependent upon his running back and field goal kicker to score points.
If Ponder can't bring the team back from behind with his arm, he won't make it in this league.
Like you, I question his mental make up as well. He supposedly has an abundance of intelligence, but this is more about emotional make up than intelligence. Reaction to pressure is emotional more than analytical.
He appears to lack the degree of confidence I see in RG III, Wilson, Kaepernick, and others.
With a better command of the offense, understanding of the defenses he faces, and new offensive weapons, Ponder should have a break out season.
If not, get out the fork!
The clear cut top of the line QB in that draft class, a Class of weak QBs was Ryan Mallett. Not only did we choose the weakest class to choose a QB out of, we chose the wrong one. Ryan Mallett can make all the throws, is accurate and football smart, cannon arm, and good pocket presence. He goes to the patriots to take over for Tomcat when he is done, and the pats get another great QB to lead them..
Iono why we passed on Ryan Mallett a SEC QB for an ACC QB with a weak arm..
Ponder is 12-14 as a starter, and avoided a likely loss in the playoffs last year.
Slight edge Tjack
Tjack's Vikings career 24TD 22Int 1.09:1
Ponder 31td 25int 1.24:1
Slight edge Ponder
The best argument that Tjack supporters had was that his numbers got better every year, the same argument Ponder supporters are making. I'm not falling for it.
I still have hope for Ponder, but I'm not optimistic. His career path is very similar to Tjack, which is not a good sign.
The best thing I saw from Ponder last year was that he stayed on the field for 16 games, but then he missed the playoff game, so I can't even say he's a durable QB. This is the most underrated criteria for becoming a good QB. Most of the top established QB's(Rodgers, Brady, Manning, Manning, Brees, Rivers) rarely miss games. It is also, arguably, one of the biggest reasons Tjack couldn't cut it as a starter.
We've all heard how intelligent Ponder is.
I'm just not seeing it translated to on the field performance.
Why is that? Is it inexperience or , as PF suggests, emotional make up ?
As you point out, the inability to stay healthy has already cost him valuable play off experience and could derail his career.
At this point the similarities between Ponder and Tjack seem more relevant than those between Ponder and previously successful NFL QB's who got off to slow starts, such as Aikman. The odds Ponder will become any more than a 'game manager' at best, seem low.
Eli Manning improved when the team around him improved. Perhaps that will happen with Ponder.
I wouldn't bet hard earned money on it, but I sure hope this is the year he proves the doubters wrong.
Eli is a good comparison, pretty similar career paths in their first 2 years. Eli's greatest attribute is that he is always on the field, which allows him to get better.
Eli's first playoff game was at home, he was 10/18 110 yards 0td 3int 1fmble lost QB rating 35, which is still better than Ponder's first playoff game().