Last we left Vikings first-round draft pick Christian Ponder, he was discussing the possibility of working out with teammates Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin.
Which is precisely what he needs to do if he wants to end up starting the first week of the season (whenever that is). Which, as he said during an "NFL Rookie Roundtable" on the NFL Network, is exactly what he wants to do.
"My view is that I was picked No. 12, they believe in me, and I believe in myself," Ponder said. ”From that time I got picked, my mindset was I’m going in to take the starting job.
"I have to earn it first, but my mindset is I’m going in and hopefully starting from Day 1."
Ponder, out of all the quarterbacks taken during the first two rounds of the draft -- and there were a lot of them! -- has the best shot to be the starter from the get-go.
The Vikings don't have an incumbent starter, they have a team that can compete right now, and Ponder's considered by many folks to be the most "NFL ready" rookie that was drafted during the 2011 NFL Draft.
It still seems all but a given that the Vikings will target a veteran signal caller once the lockout ends, but if Ponder's working hard with his teammates and getting a grasp on the playbook, it's not necessarily a given that this veteran will have too big a head start on the former Seminole.
The type of veteran that the Vikings target might be the most indicative of whether or not they believe Ponder can kick off the season as the starter -- if Minnesota goes after a Donovan McNabb or a Matt Hasselbeck or a Kyle Orton, they probably expect Ponder to sit and learn. If they target, say, a Billy Volek or Jim Sorgi, Ponder better be ready to start rolling without training wheels.
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