For those of you who think that the Bengals
are considering the possibility of drafting a QB, are looking into quarterbacks are beyond a shadow of a doubt going to draft a Quarterback in the 2011 NFL draft, here's a little more proof for you. The Bengals' head coach Marvin Lewis, and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden were both in attendance at Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder's pro day, according to Pro Football Talk's Greg Rosenthal. Lewis was the only NFL head coach at Ponder's work out. Reports coming out of the pro day have nothing but praise for Ponder, and according to the Associated Press, it appears that Gruden was impressed as well.
"Great competitor," Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said afterward, noting that Ponder also brings rare leadership intangibles. "An interesting guy and a great prospect."
Ponder was considered one of the top tier QB prospects going into the 2010 season, but after injuries to his shoulder, scouts began to question his arm strength and velocity. That was not a problem at his pro day. Rosenthal cites Mike Maycock, saying,
Ponder showed off "more than adequate arm strength" and "did really well" at the session.
After an impressive performance at the combine throwing the ball and showing off his athletic ability by running a 4.65 in the 40-yard dash, Ponder is quickly rising up teams draft boards. Some have him projected as a first round pick, possibly supplanting Washington's Jake Locker and Arkansas' Ryan Mallett in some teams' minds. Ponder also turned in one of the best scores on the controversial wonderlic test, earning a 35 out of a possible 50 points. The only two QBs who scored better than him were the apparent super-geniuses Greg McElroy from Alabama who nailed the test with a score of 43 and Blaine Gabbert from Missouri who earned a score of 42.
If you have been hoping that Ponder would be available for the Bengals at the top of the second round, you may have to think again. Rosenthal at least doesn't think he will be around by then, writing,
At this point, the Bengals may have to trade up from their second round pick if the want to land Ponder.
Let's hope he's wrong.