By most accounts, Christian Ponder had an excellent day at the NFL Combine, picking up where he left off with his Senior Bowl performance. Ponder has been building a buzz ahead of the 2011 NFL Draft, inching his way into the top-five quarterback discussion. While it’s not likely he ends up in the same league as Jake Locker, Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Mallet, he could supplant Andy Dalton — who had a disappointing combine — as the fifth quarterback off the board.
Ponder showed off solid speed, agility and explosiveness during the timed and measured drills on Sunday, hanging with some of the fastest quarterbacks at the event. In the 20-yard shuttle, Ponder tied for the top time with Tyrod Taylor, a feat in itself. Jake Locker was right on Ponder’s heels, with Cam Newton falling back in the pack.
Here’s a look at the 20-yard shuttle results
Christian Ponder 4.09
Tyrod Taylor 4.09
Jake Locker 4.12
Joshua Portis 4.12
Scott Tolzien 4.12
Taylor Yates 4.12
Jeff Van Kamp 4.16
Colin Kaepernick 4.18
Cam Newton 4.18
Blaine Gabbert 4.26
Ponder may play the role of sleep in the draft, coming away as a steal outside of the first round for some team. Though he’s not going to be a jaw-dropper like Newton, Locker and the rest, he’s shown a tendency to be solid in workouts, practices and the Senior Bowl game itself since the season ended, an encouraging sign for his draft stock.
For more results, check out the rest of our 2011 NFL Combine StoryStream.