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A Few Thoughts On The Vikings & Packers First Round Picks

April 29, 2011

With the 12th pick in the first-round, the Vikings chose Christian Ponder, quarterback out of Florida State.

Both Vice President of Player Personnel Rick Spielman and Head Coach Leslie Frazier spoke of Ponder’s intelligence. After graduating with an MBA in only two-and-a-half years, Ponder’s ability to pick up an NFL playbook should be of little concern.

The Vikings needed a quarterback and they got one who can quickly learn Bill Musgrave’s new offense. Paired up with new quarterbacks coach Craig Johnson, the trio should be able to grow together and form a solid nucleus in Minnesota.

Initially, many characterized picking Ponder at 12 “a reach.” My reaction? People have no idea what they’re talking about. Give it three or four years, and if he doesn’t develop into a solid quarterback, then call him a reach. But until then, trust the decision makers in the Vikings front office.

With the 32nd pick in the first-round, the Packers selected Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod.

Sherrod epitomizes a Ted Thompson pick. The general manager loves natural leaders who shine against their peers, and Sherrod fits the bill. He was a team captain and dominated in the Senior Bowl.

Many are calling for Sherrod to be the heir apparent to Chad Clifton at left tackle. I think he provides depth on an offensive line that badly needs it. And depending on whether or not Daryn Colledge leaves via free agency, Sherrod may be the team’s left guard next season.

Rounds 2 and 3 of the NFL draft continue on Friday evening, and rounds 4-7 are on Saturday. Enjoy the rest of the football-filled weekend.

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