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The longer the lockout is lifted, the better for a rookie class that enters the league with unprecedented uncertainty surrounding their arrival. Getting as much work in as possible, especially for the four quarterbacks taken in the first 12 picks, is paramount as they make the adjustment from college to the NFL.

“Yeah, it’s going to be huge and for me as a rookie quarterback,” said Florida State’s Christian Ponder after being drafted 12th by the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday. “It’s all about putting in my time and getting myself prepared for whatever role I’m going to have this coming season.

“So I know I’m going up there (Friday) and I already asked coach if I was going to have a playbook. And he said yeah, there will be one ready for me and we’re going to talk some ball once I get up there so I’m excited about it.”


AP Football Writers Arnie Stapleton and Barry Wilner and AP Sports Writers Dennis Waszak, Tom Canavan, Stephen Hawkins, Mike Cranston, R.B. Fallstrom, Larry Lage, Mark Long, Tom Withers and Joseph White contributed to this report.