Since taking Christian Ponder with the 12th overall pick in the NFL's draft last Thursday night, the Vikings have taken a lot of criticism. And, I admit, when I watched it live - I fell off the couch and almost had a mild heart attack. I mean, there were still a lot of very good players on the board, when we took Christian Ponder.

But I've thought about it - and I've done a complete 180 - not just on the Ponder selection, but on the Vikings draft, in general. Try to follow me, here.

1) I believe in Coach Frazier and his staff. The Vikings actually have an accomplished, respected, coaching staff this season. It's been a while since we could say that. If they think so highly of Ponder to take him with that 12th pick, they must think he is ready to roll right now. Oh yeah, he'll need some coaching, but do you know what the best thing about Christian Ponder is?

2) Christian Ponder IS EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT! What's the #1 thing I want ANY quarterback of mine to have? It's not the rocket arm, it's not great size and strength. In fact, it's nothing physical at all. It's smarts. Brains. That's what a QB needs more than anything - and he's got it. He's a great leader on the field, and has all the intangibles.

3) I LOVE the Kyle Rudolph pick in the 2nd round. Not just because I am NOT a big Visanthe Shiancoe guy, but Rudolph is a better pass catcher. He's not a great run blocker yet, but I love bringing in a tight end with the new QB - can you say "security blanket"? And since he went to Notre Dame, we know he's smart, too.

4) Other players I like from the Vikings draft; Christian Ballard from Iowa, will be an immediate factor on that defensive front. DeMarcus Love, the offensive lineman from Arkansas, was another terrific pick. The Vikings O-line was so terrible last year, that he could be a starter from day one.

Cheer up Vikings fans, there is much to be optimistic about.

That is, assuming we HAVE pro football this season....