Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Minnesota Vikings select Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder at No. 12

Florida’s Mike Pouncey goes 15th overall to Miami a year after his twin brother, Maurkice, went 18th overall to Pittsburgh.

Getty Images (2009)

Florida’s Mike Pouncey goes 15th overall to Miami a year after his twin brother, Maurkice, went 18th overall to Pittsburgh.

Heading into Thursday night's first round of the NFL draft, former Florida center Mike Pouncey was considered the top prospect among players from Florida colleges.

As it turned out, a former rival stole the spotlight.

Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder, who had been considered a potential late first-round pick at best, went 12th to the Vikings.

Pouncey was selected 15th by the Dolphins.

"He's an ideal west coast draft, ideal for what you need in a quarterback for the west coast offense," NFL Network analyst and former 49ers coach Steve Mariucci said of Ponder. "He's perfect for that system."

With his selection, Pouncey fulfilled his wish of being chosen ahead of his twin brother, Maurkice, who was the 18th selection by Pittsburgh in 2010.

"We're competitors, and we had a bet going," said Pouncey, who was accompanied in New York by his family and former Florida offensive line coach Steve Addazio. "He was hoping I went 19th, but I told him I was going to go before that."

Pouncey, 21, who played 54 games at Florida with 45 starts, said he didn't have a lot of contact with the Dolphins prior to being selected. He met with coach Tony Sparano and general manager Jeff Ireland during an allotted 15 minutes at the combine but didn't have any other workouts or meetings.

He said he became interested in the Dolphins and began watching film and researching them on his own. Pouncey said he's not concerned whether he plays guard or center.

"I feel like I'm good at both of them," he said. "I just want to go down there and earn the respect of my teammates. I don't want anything given to me. I want to earn a spot on the team whether it be center or guard."

Ponder, 23, is only the third quarterback the Vikings have taken in the first round, joining Tommy Kramer (27th in 1977) and Daunte Culpepper (11th in 1999).

As a senior, he threw for 2,044 yards, 20 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.

Rick Spielman, the Vikings' vice president for player personnel, said the team likes Ponder's poise, intelligence and accuracy. Spielman, coach Leslie Frazier and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave were impressed during a visit to Tallahassee.

"We all came away from that visit going, 'Man, if that guy's there, it would be hard to pass him up,' " Frazier said.

Ponder joked that he'll be all right with a left tackle (Bryant McKinnie) and a receiver (Percy Harvin) who came from Florida State's two biggest rivals, Miami and Florida, respectively.

"I dealt with being the face of Florida State and handling the pressure there," Ponder said. "Obviously, it's a whole 'nother level in the NFL, but I don't think anyone else puts as much pressure on me as I do on myself. I'm a perfectionist. No one's expectations exceed mine."

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Minnesota Vikings select Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder at No. 12 04/28/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 29, 2011 12:22am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  4. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State

    College

    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.