Posts Tagged ‘Christian Ponder’

Greg is heading to Wembley in six months

Greg is heading to Wembley in six months

Last season the Minnesota Vikings relied so heavily on Adrian Peterson their second year quarterback Christian Ponder looked like he had forgotten the art of the forward pass.

So when the Seattle Seahawks signed the Vikes best receiving weapon at the start of Free Agency, WR Mr Percy Harvin, the situation got even uglier.

I was with a sense if relief that Minnesota did find a rapid replacement in the shape of Super Bowl winning wideout Greg Jennings.

The Vikings also signed former Patriots and Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel. Hardly the headline news, but putting him and Ponder in a head to head battle will mean whoever gets the starting gig will be playing extra hard as they will want to keep that starting role.

Jennings will be familiar with the purple uniform having faced off against the Vikings twice a year for the past seven seasons during divisional game-play.

Greg, a former Western Michigan Bronco, is one of only ten football players from that college to be drafted into the NFL in the past 20 years. Other Broncos to gain some degree of fame in the NFL include tight-end Tony Scheffler (also drafted in 2006) and Jason Babin the defensive end (selected in the first round in 2004).

Jennings had 17 100+ games in college, second all time on his college team to NFL 2012 draft pick Jordan White (21 games).

Jennings becomes the biggest named wideout in Minnesota since Randy Moss. He will be hoping to get back on track with a 1000+ yard season, following an injury filled 2012 in Green Bay, where he has his worst output both by catches and yardage.

The two time Pr0-Bowler has already registered three 1100+seasons and two 900+ seasons, along with three 100+ yard playoff games and a two-touchdown performance in helping the Packers to win Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It will be the Steelers that Jennings will face again when the Vikings travel to London in September as part of the NFL’s first ever double dose of regular season football outside of America.

Of the two London games (Steelers @ Vikings and San Francisco 49ers @ Jacksonville Jaguars) on paper the Vikings game looks to be the most competitive, and was quicker to sell out.

Fans like myself (thanks to a Christmas gift from my beautiful wife) will be chomping at the bit to see the likes of Peterson and now Greg Jennings as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, the only team to win six Super bowls.

Both the Vikings and the Steelers will be hoping for string drafts, with some rookies that can make an immediate impact. Both teams need to improve their secondary, especially at cornerback. The Steelers lost the under-rated Keenan Lewis and the Vikings let veteran Antoine Winfield go.

With Greg Jennings looking to become not only a leader on the field, but also in the locker room, it will be fascinating to see what other pieces of the jigsaw the Vikings pick up en-route to the start of the 2013 season.

What other needs do YOU think are the most pressing for the Vikings?

I joined the Texans by making J.J. Watt my first rookie pick

I have to admit I am like a small child in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory when it comes to making fantasy rookie NFL player picks.  It sends a sugary buzz up to my brain as I pour over the players I want to pick, and for that brief time slot every day I feel like a proper NFL GM.

I know the truth is its all nonsense, but selecting rookies in fantasy leagues where I manage a full squad of 50-55 players is one of the most fun things an NFL fan can be involved in.

Most of the fantasy football game leagues I am in have exclusive rookie player drafts AFTER the real NFL draft, but two leagues I am in (UFL – Utah Football League and the NFL – Not Quite Football League) both conduct the first three rounds of their rookie drafts a week BEFORE the real NFL draft.

This mean you really do become a fully fledged GM as you don’t know which NFL team your drafted player will end up playing for.

In the UFL I had 5 picks in the top 61 (#7, #21 from trade, # 27, #41 from trade, and #61) . Bearing in mind I made all 5 picks a week before the 2011 NFL Draft here are the picks I made…..

#7 – J.J. Watt DE Wisconsin (went to Texans Round 1 #11)
#21 –  Jimmy Smith CB Colorado (went to Ravens Round 1 #27)
#27 –  Corey Liuget DT Illinois (went to Chargers Round 1 #18)
#41 – Phil Taylor DT Baylor (went to Browns Round 1 #21)
#61 – Christian Ponder QB Florida State (went to Vikings Round 1 #12)

So there it was – All 5 of my picks went in the first round of the real NFL Draft 7 days later.  Perhaps the biggest shock was that I managed to get Christian Ponder at #61.

I actually was primed to pick Jonathan Baldwin the Pitt WR at #61 but I made a quick double check on my cheat sheet and then checked the first 60 picks made and realised no-one had pulled the trigger on Ponder.

Yes the Vikings needed a new QB but many so called ‘experts’ didn’t see Ponder getting selected at #12. Their hand was forced after Jake Locker went at #8 to the Titans and then Blaine Gabbert shockingly was selected at #10 by the Jaguars.

I know defensive tackles are not ‘sexy’ picks but my team needed defensive help everywhere. I think getting  Phil Taylor 20 picks later than when he was actually drafted was good value.

What do you people think – how would you have drafted?