NFL Draft 2012: 3 Reasons Wide Receiver Is the Minnesota Vikings' No. 1 Priority

Troy BelcherCorrespondent IFebruary 16, 2012

NFL Draft 2012: 3 Reasons Wide Receiver Is the Minnesota Vikings' No. 1 Priority

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    The 2012 NFL Draft is where the Minnesota Vikings need to make a big splash, that is if they want to be relevant again.

    There are a plethora of positions that the Vikings need to work on, and this year's draft is a perfect opportunity to do so.

    Many experts and Vikings fans believe the best way to go is USC left tackle Matt Kalil. At one point, I believed that was the best way to go as well. After a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that the wide receiver position is the most critical position for the Vikings.

    Here's why.

Christian Ponder

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    When the Vikings selected Christian Ponder 12th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, it shocked the NFL world. Well, Ponder now has a year of unexpected experience under his belt, and he needs help.

    The Vikings want to build on Ponder, and want to make him their franchise quarterback; for that to happen they must build a cast of receivers around him.

    Right now, Percy Harvin is Ponder's only legitimate threat to throw to—this must change.

    If Minnesota wants to mold Ponder and see him become successful they need to take their third pick in the first round of the draft, and select Justin Blackmon.

    Blackmon is the clear-cut best receiver in the draft this year, and he could make a stagnant Vikings offense into an excellent one.

    I understand that selecting an offensive lineman is of high importance, but in my eyes it isn't as important as giving Ponder another threat to throw to alongside Percy Harvin.

Lack of Depth

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    This stems off the last slide in basically saying the Vikings' depth of receivers is lacking in a major fashion.

    Percy Harvin is an excellent playmaker; he can take it in the passing game, running game and even special teams. Problem is, there is nobody else on the Vikings' roster that is even close to being as dynamic as Harvin.

    Think of an offense that has Christian Ponder, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Justin Blackmon. That has the potential to be one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL.

    Minnesota has the third pick in the draft, and with it they must select a receiver, preferably Blackmon, if they want to see success come from Ponder.

    I can just hear everyone now, telling me I'm wrong and that the Vikings need to select Matt Kalil. Well, it definitely wouldn't be a bad pick, but where does that leave the Vikings after drafting Kalil? Still with only one playmaker for Ponder to utilize.

    Ultimately, there are more offensive linemen than just Matt Kalil in this draft. The Vikings have the opportunity to still nab a very good offensive lineman if they decide to draft Blackmon third overall.

Missing Piece to the Puzzle

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    Many say the Donovan McNabb project failed miserably because he was out of the prime. While that may be true to an extent, I'm willing to bet that it also had something to do with the lack of production at the receiver position.

    With the Vikings having poor offensive line play in 2011, Adrian Peterson was unable to produce much on the ground. In essence, Percy Harvin was the Minnesota Vikings last season, being why they finished with a 3-13 record.

    In one of my previous articles about the Vikings, I stated that they weren't as poor as their record indicated in 2011, and that there were pieces of the puzzle missing causing consistent struggle. Well, a wide receiver is the first piece of that puzzle.

    While many of you may disagree, it's the right thing to do. Christian Ponder will never be successful in this league with just one viable threat to throw to, and every Vikings fan knows that—whether they want to admit it or not.

    So, with the third pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, let's hope the Minnesota Vikings select Justin Blackmon, wide receiver, Oklahoma State.