The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock in SB Nation's 2011 NFL mock draft. Picking 16th, Big Cat Country is making the selection and it's a bit of a surprise: QB Christian Ponder. (If you're a regular BCC reader, then this isn't a huge surprise.)
Ponder comes off the board much earlier than many figured and, frankly, it's hard to argue. As BCC notes, the run on quarterbacks may be happening before they pick in the second round putting them out of the running for guys like Ryan Mallett, Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton or Ponder.
Selecting him now ensures that you get him and potentially gives you a year to stick him on the bench, if that's what they decide to do. The Jags have other holes they could be filling but there's no position in sports as important as quarterback. I like that they don't necessarily have to rush Ponder.
SB Nation's Mocking The Draft says this pick isn't out of the realm of possibility.
This is a gamble, sort of. If people can recall, Ponder was considered a first-round player heading into the 2010 season. While it may be odd to see him being picked this high, if a team like Jacksonville likes him, they'll take him. We see that every year with the draft.
Interesting stuff. For the full explanation of the pick, check out Mocking The Draft.