With the 12th pick in the 2011 draft, they selected Florida State signal caller, Christian Ponder.
Few analysts saw Ponder as a top-15 pick, but the Vikings felt he was the man to lead the franchise in the right direction. Since then, he's been saying and doing all the right things, from organizing team activities to acknowledging the fact that he must earn the starting job.
But, with the lockout still looming, Ponder hasn't had the coaching and practice time he truly needs in order to be effective from the start of the season on. I'm not saying he can't do it, the kid is extremely intelligent and has all the physical tools—but it would benefit his immediate, as well as long-term, success if he had someone to mentor him.
And that is why the Vikings should look to add a veteran quarterback in free agency.
The best option? Free agent Marc Bulger.
Bulger spent last season backing up Joe Flacco in Baltimore, after signing a one-year deal in June of 2010.
But before holding Flacco's clipboard, Bulger was under center for the St. Louis Rams for eight seasons, where he compiled a QB rating of 84.4 and completed 62 percent of his passes while throwing 122 TDs to 93 INTs. Bulger, age 34, took some abuse the last few seasons in St. Louis but he can still be effective if called upon.
But Bulger's biggest strength? Not his arm, but his intelligence—something many analysts believe is Ponder's biggest strength as well. Bulger could provide the stop-gap play at quarterback until the Vikings feel Christian is ready.
With an offense full of talent and a (successful) veteran quarterback to learn from, Ponder could very well develop into the franchise quarterback the Minnesota Vikings have missed since the days of Daunte Culpepper.
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