2011 NFL Draft Results: Christian Ponder and the 5 Biggest Reaches of the Draft

Michael AkelsonCorrespondent IMay 29, 2016

2011 NFL Draft Results: Christian Ponder and the 5 Biggest Reaches of the Draft

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Quarterback Christian Ponder of Florida State looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The 2011 NFL Draft was one filled with surprise, big board free-falls and extremely head-scratching reaches.

    Reaches normally occur most frequently during Round 1, and this was no exception.

    Throughout the entire first round, teams continued to make one reach after another.

    So what were the biggest reaches of the whole draft?

    Let's find out.

5. Cam Newton, QB (Carolina Panthers)

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Cam Newton, #1 overall pick by the Carolina Panthers holds up a jersey on stage after he was picked during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    It's rare that the first overall pick of the draft can be considered a reach, but that was the case this year.

    Cam Newton was not a top-10 prospect on most people's boards, yet the Panthers made him the first overall pick of the entire draft.

    Quite a risky pick, but the sky's the limit for this kid.

4. Jonathan Baldwin, WR (Kansas City Chiefs)

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    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 05: Jonathan Baldwin #82 of the University of Pittsburgh Panthers catches a pass against the Cincinnati Bearcats on December 5, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Picking 26th overall due to the fact that the Baltimore Ravens exceeded the time limit on their pick, the Kansas City Chiefs made one of the biggest reaches of the first round.

    The Chiefs needed another receiver to play across from Dwayne Bowe, and they got that.

    I'm not going to say this was a horrible pick, but it was certainly a reach.

    I can't think of one mock draft that had Baldwin going in the first round, and just about everybody agreed he was a second-round pick.

    Even Titus Young, who was also a second-round prospect, would have been a better pick here.

3. Jake Locker, QB (Tennessee Titans)

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27:  Quarterback Jake Locker of Washington runs a passing drill during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    I love Jake Locker, and I think he'll be a fantastic NFL player.

    But that doesn't mean he wasn't a reach.

    He was ranked somewhere from three to five on most people's quarterback rankings, and I can't think of a person who had him ranked above Blaine Gabbert.

    Yet, with the eighth overall pick, Tennessee passed on Gabbert as their new franchise QB. They instead took Locker, who was thought of by most as a fringe first-round pick.

2. Christian Ponder, QB (Minnesota Vikings)

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    MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 29:  Quarterback Christian Ponder #7 of the South Team  is hoisted into the air while celebrating after passing for a touchdown to wide receiver Jeremy Kerley #84 against the North Team during the fourth quarter of the Under Armour Se
    Sean Gardner/Getty Images

    After seeing three quarterbacks go in the top 10, the Minnesota Vikings panicked and reached by about a full round for Christian Ponder.

    Players such as Nick Fairley and Prince Amukamara were still on the board when the Vikings made this pick.

    At least this most likely means Brett Favre is officially done.

1. James Carpenter, OG/T (Seattle Seahawks)

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 16:  Marcell Dareus #57 and James Carpenter #77 of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Ole Miss Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With the 25th overall pick of the draft, the Seattle Seahawks shocked the world.

    They used that pick to select Alabama OG/T James Carpenter, who was thought of by most as a late second-round to early third-round pick.

    What made this pick even more alarming was the fact that much better offensive linemen, including Gabe Carimi and Derek Sherrod, were still on the board.

    Just a puzzling, puzzling pick.