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Konz may slide back, but right to the Ravens.
The trade: Baltimore Ravens send the 29th pick (late first round) to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for its second- and fourth-round choices (35 and 98).
Why this makes sense: Baltimore is very likely considering Wisconsin center Peter Konz with its first pick. Although taking him directly at 29 would not be an overdraft, and likely not criticized analytically within the industry, his value is obviously better at 35 and the Ravens gain an extra pick in the process.
Baltimore GM Ozzie Newsome loves to wheel and deal in the first round, as fellow Bleacher Report draftnik Sigmund Bloom details in this recent piece, which only adds fuel to the fire of this being potentially on tap.
After presumably nabbing Matt Kalil with the third overall pick in the first round, following the Luck and Griffin hoopla, Minnesota targets a player that is starting to gain favor as a late first-rounder while also addressing a drastic need at corner in Georgia's Brandon Boykin.
I am as high as anyone in the community on Boykin, and higher than most, as the undersized physical dynamo is currently rated the No. 3 cornerback on my board. He is one of those rare players that is actually a pleasure to watch, even from an analytical standpoint, and will be a quick fan-favorite wherever he ends up.
Watch him snuff out this wide receiver screen for a safety (:17), return a punt to the house in electrifying fashion (1:16) and catch a touchdown out of the backfield (4:18), all in the 2012 Outback Bowl versus Michigan State University. Fittingly, he was named the Paul Hornung Award winner this year as the nation's most versatile player.
Why it may not happen: If Konz is the player that Newsome most covets and is seen as vital to the team's 2012 success, six picks may be too many spins of the wheel to risk losing him. This gamble is magnified because some organizations also have Konz rated highly as a guard, and his projectable dual function pushes his market up further.
Even if Boykin is well-liked in Minnesota's war room, returning to a previous theme, there is expected to be a lot of cornerback value in this area of the draft. Staying put at 35 and simply selecting the top guy on its board may suit the Vikings more than giving up a fourth-rounder just to be sure.
I went back to Matt Williamson about this possibility and he replied:
"Cornerbacks are certainly worth more than interior offensive linemen, but to me Konz is the superior prospect of these two. Could this still play out? Sure, but this one seems rather unlikely."
My take: Williamson is probably right with his assessment of the unlikelihood of this little pairing working out. There are a lot of flimsy variables on both sides—such as the Ravens sitting on Konz for six spots and the Vikings feeling compelled to move up that far or at all to get Boykin—that it is a long shot.
Boykin's projectable versatility and tenacious playmaking style is appealing enough, though, that a team trading up to get him in this range will be easily understood and defended.