Christian Ponder will surpass all expectations of him with gusto in the 2012 season.
In his second year, Ponder will have a much better opportunity of finding his groove as a starting quarterback. Considering the Minnesota Vikings have no shot at Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck, the team will stick with its 12th pick in the 2012 draft. It's not like Minnesota would have taken either Griffin or Luck because it seemed to have gone all in on Ponder.
Ponder will be under a lot of pressure next season. The excuse of being a rookie and not being the starter all season will be thrown out the window. CP7 and his supporters will not be able to use either of those two as a crutch anymore, but it will not be necessary.
Ponder will have every Vikings fan singing "Oh, thank heaven for CP7," and here are four reasons why.
The NFL lockout in 2011 really hurt plenty of rookies because it stripped them of the time to work out with their team and understand playbooks. Nothing is worse for a rookie quarterback than a lockout that does not allow for him to meet with coaches and practice with teammates.
In 2012 this will be different. The NFL reached an agreement with a new collective bargaining agreement that will last another 10 years. This means Christian Ponder will be able to finally go through organized team activities and minicamps for the first time in the NFL.
Ponder will have more than enough time to figure out what his coaches want from him and what he can do to improve his game. It is more than obvious that CP7 needs to fix some habits on the field and this is the time where he can figure it all out.
A couple months of training with coaches and teammates will definitely put Ponder's comfort levels in overdrive. A combination of his comfort, confidence and intelligence is something that will take him very far in the NFL.
Not only will a full offseason help Ponder grow with his coaches but it will also help him build a strong relationship with the starters on offense, particularly the wide receivers.
It was very obvious Ponder had some timing issues with some of the receivers on the team. Other than Percy Harvin, there was not one other wideout that would seem to know what Ponder is thinking or where he is looking.
Over the course of the offseason and throughout the preseason games, he will definitely get this timing down with his receivers both old and new.
Ponder had a few games where he did well, and that was without having any timing down with his receivers—imagine what a full offseason will do to his production with his pass-catchers. Surrounded by young talent that is willing to learn, Ponder and company will have plenty to prove in the division that is stacked with incredible passing attacks.
Whether or not AP has the ball in his hands, he is the biggest threat on the field. When the ball is in his hands he can burst through defenders and take them down as he barrels through them. When he doesn't have the ball in his hand, the fear of him breaking through the defense allows for a quarterback to have an easier time throwing.
In his 10 starts Ponder played only three full games with Peterson, in which he threw for more 200 yards twice. In his starts without AP, Ponder threw for less than 200 yards five times.
Peterson will help Ponder very much and he, along with the Viking faithful, are hoping "All Day" makes a speedy recovery. The combination of the quick and powerful Peterson with Ponder and his ability to run for a first down should make the passing game along with the running game that much better.
With the third pick in the 2012 NFL draft the Vikings are in prime position to bring in a talent that will be a starter on day one and automatically help anyone involved with the team.
In this case, there is a 66.6 percent chance that the Vikings go with a player that will help them on offense. Minnesota has a choice between top cornerback Morris Claiborne, top wide receiver Justin Blackmon and top left tackle Matt Kalil.
All signs point to the Vikings drafting Kalil. This will help Ponder more than anything else because he needs to make sure he has enough time to get the football to his receivers, and a left tackle like Kalil will ensure he does for years.
The Vikes could also go with Blackmon, who would be able to provide both Ponder and the Vikings with a true No. 1 option at wide receiver. Blackmon would help CP7 get out trouble when he needs it the most while being his prime target.
Unless the Vikes draft Claiborne, the pick will help Ponder on his journey to the next level. Kalil will protect him from danger while Blackmon will bail him out of danger when necessary. With younger and more capable talent surrounding the young quarterback, he is sure to grow.
With early picks in the rest of the draft the Vikes will continue to find a way to sure up the offense and help Ponder grow as much possible. This draft is not only huge for the Vikings, but it is equally as huge for Ponder and his growth.
Expect for CP7 to benefit from this draft because regardless of whom or what position the team drafts first, it will bring in talent that was much better than anything it had last year.
Follow me on Twitter for everything NFL/NBA/WWE @ThaFreakness_BR.