Minnesota Vikings' Top 3 Choices for Their First Pick in the NFL Draft

Adam LufranoCorrespondent IIIFebruary 4, 2012

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 29:  Matt Kalil #75 of the USC Trojans looks on against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on November 29, 2008 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  USC won 38-3.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
Jeff Golden/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings have the third pick in the NFL draft this year after a disappointing year in 2011.

However, despite the poor team record, the Vikings did at least find out that Christian Ponder is a talented young player and can develop into a pretty good starting quarterback in the NFL.

Minnesota is going to want to add an impact player to this team with their first draft selection.

They already have one of the best players in the game on both offense and defense (Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen), but they are going to want to add to that so they can compete with the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers in the NFC North.

Here are the top three options Minnesota has for its third overall selection in the NFL draft.


Matt Kalil, USC

Matt Kalil is the best offensive lineman in this draft and is the Vikings' most likely selection this April. Andrew Luck is going to go first overall, and if the St. Louis Rams don't take Kalil, then the Vikings will probably pick him.

Kalil is one of the safer choices because he has all the athleticism and talent in the world to be one of the best tackles in the league for a long time. He would provide Christian Ponder with protection on his blind side, and the Vikings would be set at left tackle for a decade (injuries aside).


Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State

Justin Blackmon is the best wide receiver available in the draft this year. He may not be able to come into the NFL and perform like A.J. Green did last year, but he definitely has the talent and ability to.

Blackmon would be a solid pick for the Vikings because he gives them a No. 1 receiving option who would really help out Christian Ponder. Having a guy to depend on when you're in the pocket can really help a young quarterback, and the Vikings would be wise to draft a future All-Pro caliber receiver.


Morris Claiborne, LSU

If the Vikings fall in love with Claiborne, they could look to draft him with their third selection. The Vikings could really use some help in the secondary, and drafting Jim Thorpe Award winner Morris Claiborne would be a good start.

Claiborne would give the Vikings a No. 1 cornerback for a long time. He's a sure cover guy and can make a lot of plays in the defensive backfield.

The Vikings are going to have to think about investing in their pass defense because Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers aren't going anywhere.