6 worst Minnesota Vikings first-round picks of the last decade

(Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images) Matt Kalil
(Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images) Matt Kalil /
7 of 7
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Christian Ponder /

Christian Ponder – QB (2011)

Christian Ponder is hands down the worst Vikings’ first-round choice of the last decade. It’s not his fault though, as he never should’ve even been drafted as high as he was.

Before the 2011 NFL Draft, he was considered a fringe first-round talent. Ponder was seen as a smart quarterback, who wouldn’t wow anyone with his arm strength, but he threw an accurate ball. He also had enough athletic ability to create extra time in the pocket and pick up yards on the ground.

The 2011 draft took place during a lockout and this caused many teams to reach on a quarterback because they weren’t sure when they’d be able to sign one in free agency. Minnesota passed on some very good players to take Ponder including Robert Quinn, Nate Solder, and Cameron Jordan just to name a few.

Instead, the Vikings went with the former Florida State quarterback in a move that is still shocking to this day.

He ended up starting for Minnesota a few games into his rookie season after Donovan McNabb began to struggle. Ponder never looked very comfortable in the pocket and he seemed to always second guess himself. This led to many poor decisions with the football and turnovers which resulted in Vikings fans quickly turning on him.

Ponder’s best season was in 2012 when he helped lead Minnesota to a 10-6 record. He did have the luxury of Adrian Peterson in his prime lining up behind him each week and that surely helped, but Ponder did make a few plays on his own.

Overall, his career numbers are very underwhelming. He finished his Vikings career with 6,658 passing yards for 38 touchdowns, 36 interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 75.9.

Must Read. 4 first-round pick combinations for the Vikings in 2020. light

After his time in purple, Ponder spent time with the Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos, and San Francisco 49ers before becoming a stay at home dad. Ponder was a huge first-round bust for the Vikings. But in his defense, he never should’ve been taken that high and hopefully Rick Spielman has learned from this gargantuan mistake.