Christian Ponder will have opportunity to start for Vikings in 2011

Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier leads his team against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on November 28, 2010. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has made it clear to the media in Minnesota that first round pick Christian Ponder will have every opportunity to win the starting quarterback job this year.

“That would be the ideal situation – we’ve got our Matt Ryan, we’ve got our [Joe] Flacco,” Frazier told ESPN 1500 Twin Cities. “But because of the uncertainty of the offseason, it’s just hard to determine exactly how you want to approach it.”

Translation: If we don’t wind up trading for Donovan McNabb, then the rook will probably start for us next season. (Because hey, who else would start? Patrick Ramsey? Hahahaha…ahhhhhh.)

After taking Ponder in the first round last Thursday, it seems unlikely that the Vikings would trade for McNabb, but you never know. What they could wind up doing is waiting to see if Washington releases McNabb and then pursuing him on a one-year deal. That way Ponder could sit and learn Bill Musgrave’s offense for a year before taking over in 2012. The only problem with that line of thinking is that you assume McNabb would be fine only taking a one-year deal so that he could groom his eventual replacement.

While I was just as surprised as anyone when the Vikings selected Ponder in the first round last week, I do think he’s a perfect fit for Minnesota’s offense. Musgrave has been heralded for his work with young quarterbacks and he’ll have the opportunity to show what he can do with Ponder, who was arguably the best West Coast Offense prospect in last weekend’s draft. Musgrave obviously did a great job grooming Ryan in Atlanta and it’s not like Ponder wouldn’t have talent around him if he wound up starting as a rookie. As Frazier pointed out, we’ll just have to wait and see how the rest of the offseason plays out to see if Ponder will have the opportunity to start in ’11.

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