That's stretching it a bit.
But I will say this: Ponder will be the best quarterback from the 2011 NFL Draft.
That's why he's the captain of my 2011 Better-Than Team. It is my list of players I like better than most scouts, usually players outside the top-15 or so.
This is something I've done for the past couple of years, usually with varied success. I've hit some. And I've missed some.
Just like NFL teams often do.
So dive in, and check back in a few years. And think of me when Ponder is the best quarterback in this draft.
Now here's the rest of my Better-Than Team:
Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU: At 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, he is a big receiver. He isn't a burner, but he's fast enough. He was hurt at LSU by bad quarterback play.
|Terrence Toliver is a big, strong receiver who was hurt at LSU by lousy quarterback play. (US Presswire)|
Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa: He won't be among the first six quarterbacks taken, but he isn't far behind. He's smart, has a good arm and was a productive player in the Big Ten. Good enough for a third-round look.
Chimdi Chekwa, CB, Ohio State: He was a quality starter for the Buckeyes. He should be a nice nickel back and then maybe push for a starting job in his second or third season. He did dislocate his wrist in the Sugar Bowl, but ran under 4.4 at the combine.
Titus Young, WR, Boise State: I know he has some off-the-field concerns, but he can run. He reminds me of DeSean Jackson of the Eagles. They had character questions about him when he came out as well, and he's worked out fine.
Stevan Ridley, RB, LSU: He's a tough inside runner who will be a chain mover in the NFL. He might never be a speed threat, but he will be a grinder.
Joseph Barksdale, T, LSU: He moved to left tackle last season, and didn't play as well as the year before. I think he can be a right tackle or move to guard. He's got good size and he's tough enough.
Mark Herzlich, OLB, Boston College: He battled back from cancer and played last season after missing 2009. He wasn't as sudden a player, but he's getting there. Was once considered a first-round pick. Now he's certainly worth a look in the middle rounds.
Lee Ziemba, G, Auburn: He was a college tackle, but his feet aren't good enough to play there in the NFL. He could be a nice guard.
Colin McCarthy, ILB, Miami: He lacks great speed, which is why he won't go as high as he should, but he is a kid who knows how to find the football. He will be a special-teams star right from the start.
Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State: I watched a lot of him in college, having gone to ASU. He was doubled a lot, so his numbers aren't great. But he can be a nice mid-round pick for a team and work into the line rotation.
Greg Romeus, DE, Pittsburgh: He was considered a possible first-round pick, but injuries really hurt him last season. He had back surgery early last season, then came back and tore an ACL. He is worth a mid-round look.
Drake Nevis, DT, LSU: He is small at 6-1, 290 pounds, but he has the quickness to be a penetrating tackle. He was a disruptive player in a good conference.
Jurell Casey, DT, USC: Here's another smallish defensive tackle at 6-1, 300 pounds. But he was a playmaker at USC. Teams are missing on him if he's not gone by the mid-second round.
Josh Bynes, LB, Auburn: I know he doesn't have great speed, but the kid made a lot of plays in college. If he gets with the right team, he could stick. Just don't ask him to run with tight ends.
Dwayne Harris, WR, East Carolina: He isn't a burner, but he might be a nice slot receiver for a team with speed outside.
Evan Royster, RB, Penn State: He was a productive runner in a good conference. He won't be a speed runner, but he can move the chains. He is worth a late round look.