5 most disappointing QBs the Vikings struggled to win with

(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) Donovan McNabb
(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) Donovan McNabb /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Christian Ponder /

Christian Ponder

Disappointment, draft bust, and an overall underwhelming sense of failed potential come to mind whenever Christian Ponder is mentioned, specifically donning the purple and gold.

The 12th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Ponder was brought in as the heir apparent to Brett Favre to compete in a division that had Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Jay Cutler as the veteran gunslingers. Unfortunately for Ponder and the Vikings, none of this came to fruition.

Rushed into the spotlight due to Donovan McNabb’s shortcomings, Ponder never could grasp being the franchise player Minnesota hoped of him to be. While producing a 10-6 record as the starting quarterback in 2012, Ponder relied heavily on Adrian Peterson’s MVP season that saw the running back fall just nine yards short of the all-time rushing record.

Going into the 2013 season, it was Ponder’s make-or-break year, and the year simply broke. He was benched for Matt Cassel and saw the Vikings sign Josh Freeman in a panic move, who played terribly in an infamous Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants.

Minnesota played quarterback carousel with Ponder, Freeman, and Cassel during 2013, and while Ponder was able to come back as a starter, his failed attempt at a hail mary may sum up his whole career.

Minus a less than stellar showing in 2014 against the Green Bay Packers, Ponder would ride the bench as the Vikings moved on to rookie Teddy Bridgewater. Ponder signed with the Raiders in the following offseason, but he was cut before the regular season. Outside of a brief third-string run with the 49ers in 2016, Ponder never saw the NFL again.

Along with Dimitrius Underwood and Troy Williamson, Ponder may go down as one of the biggest draft busts in Minnesota history, and he was certainly a quarterback the franchise couldn’t win with, no matter what or who was around him.

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