NFL Draft 2012: The Minnesota Vikings Are Now on the Clock

Sammy Sucu@oblivion08Senior Analyst IMarch 10, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 25: Offensive lineman Matt Kalil of USC looks on during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 25, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings are unofficially on the clock with the third pick in the 2012 NFL draft

According to a report from Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Washington Redskins have traded their way into the second spot in the 2012 NFL draft. Glazer reported that the Redskins and St. Louis Rams will swap first-round picks. The Rams will also receive two future first-round selections along with additional picks.

The general consensus is that the Redskins traded up to the second spot to draft Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Seeing as how the Indianapolis Colts have cleaned house by releasing Peyton Manning and other key veterans, the Colts will likely use their first pick to trade for Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

With the first and second pick unofficially in the bag, the Minnesota Vikings are now on the clock.

Most mock drafts have the Vikings selecting USC's left tackle Matt Kalil, if available—and he sure is. This comes as no surprise because the Vikings have one of the worst left tackles in the NFL, Charlie Johnson. Considering the Vikes are trying to help their young quarterback Christian Ponder grow, they will likely look to bulk up the offensive line in order to protect him and allow him to have more time to complete passes.

The Vikings can go another route and select another position of need by drafting Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Blackmon is the best receiver coming out of the 2012 NFL draft, but he has been criticized for not having breakaway speed.

According to a staff report at NewsOK, Blackmon ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at the Oklahoma State pro day, which definitely sounds like breakaway speed. The Vikings will likely shy away from Blackmon and try to address their need at wide receiver in free agency. Drafting a wide receiver early is always a big risk—just ask the Detroit Lions.

Another option for the Vikings is to address their biggest weakness by drafting LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. Claiborne is the best cornerback in the draft and he can definitely help the Vikes in terms of pass defense.

Like Blackmon, the Vikes will likely stay away from Claiborne and look to draft cornerbacks in the later rounds or address the position via free agency. With Brandon Carr and Cortland Finnegan in the free-agent pool, the Vikings can definitely get better in their secondary without spending a third pick on Claiborne.

The Vikings are now on the clock, and the fans are patiently waiting for April 26 to come around. The Vikings are lucky that they have so many options to choose from, but they will likely go with Kalil to help Ponder stay healthy and confident.


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