NFL Draft 2012: Why Morris Claiborne Is a No-Brainer for the Minnesota Vikings

Eric HampfordContributor IIIJanuary 17, 2012

LSU defensive star Morris Claiborne
LSU defensive star Morris ClaiborneScott Cunningham/Getty Images

With the 2012 NFL Draft looming in the coming months, franchises are doing their homework on who exactly is worthy of their top selections. The Minnesota Vikings will be drafting with the third pick on April 26th at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

While there will certainly be no shortage of stars after the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams pluck pieces of their future from the draft board, all signs point to the Vikings drafting LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, regardless of who is available.

While college stars such as Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon and Riley Reiff will most likely still be available, the Vikes can't afford to let the talented Morris Claiborne slip from their fingers.

The Minnesota Vikings secondary was downright awful this season. Chris Cook is heading to trial for domestic abuse charges in March. Antoine Winfield is past his prime, turning the ripe age of 35 this year and disgruntled Cedric Griffin is a candidate for release. 

This leaves the secondary of the last-place NFC North team scarily thin. Although only three cornerbacks have been drafted in the top five selections since 2002, and none have been drafted in the top three picks (making Claiborne the highest drafted cornerback in more than a decade), this is a pick that seems to make a lot of sense for the Vikings. 

He is a complete corner who brings an even more complete game to the NFL than former teammate Patrick Peterson did. That's a downright scary thought.

He may not be a top three talent in the 2012 NFL Draft, but the objective is to draft based on what your team needs, and Minnesota needs a cornerback. Morris Claiborne to the podium...