Ponder finished his rookie season with a series of injuries and poor decisions, playing behind a patchwork offensive line and with a limited set of weapons in the passing game. The Vikings' short-term future is tied to Ponder's development, so here is what they did for him this offseason:
They drafted Matt Kalil to take over at left tackle, a move that allows Charlie Johnson to move to left guard and accomplishes a significant remake of the offensive line. They signed pass-catching tight end John Carlson to pair with another smooth pass-catcher, Kyle Rudolph, and signed athletic receiver Jerome Simpson, who will be eligible to play in Week 4. Finally, they drafted a pair of Arkansas receivers in Jarius Wright and Greg Childs.
The idea of having multiple tight end targets makes sense for a young quarterback, and Ponder should have more confidence this season in his backside protection. Percy Harvin and Simpson could pair up as a decent playmaking duo at receiver, but depth remains a question mark. Ponder will be in a better position than he was last season, but the talent around him could still be improved.