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Negotiating early rounds is like sailing through rough waters with unpredictable trade winds. Balancing risk and potential reward is a fine tightrope.
The 1,500-point value of the seventh pick is great enough that moving far back in the first could net an exceptional number of mid-round picks. If they moved as far down as to the 28th overall selection (New England currently holds this pick), that would land them roughly an extra 840 points!
And 840 points might as well be interpreted (more or less) as an early second and third-rounder, or a combination of similar value.
Christian Ponder should still be around in the late first, as should Ryan Mallett. One (or both) of these two fellows should also be available in the early second round.
Many quarterback snobs are solidly against Ryan Mallett being drafted in any round because of his lanky gait, nonexplosive foot speed and unapologetic attitude. When Mallett takes the field, however, his love of the game takes over.
Mallett has an incredible arm: He's accurate and the ball comes out like a cruise missile. He's taken his share of snaps from the gun as well as under center. His big hands make his play action very believable and his height allows him to see the whole field from many useful angles.
Michael Vick, he is not, but Ryan Mallett, he is.
Ponder has fewer question marks around him: He has shown very nice foot speed, a quick release, good accuracy (and zip) on short and medium routes and he posted a very acceptable Wonderlic score. One could also add that the pro-style offense he ran at Florida State has well prepared him for rapid advancement at the next level.
The big concern about Ponder, however, has been his slight propensity toward injury.
And if neither quarterback is seen by Jim Harbaugh as a horse worth putting money on, trading further down like this can still yield a greater number of very solid players.