2012 NFL Draft: RG3 Trade Gives Vikings All the Leverage with No. 3 Pick

Matt Olson@@MN_sports_takeContributor IIIMarch 12, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Justin Blackmon #81 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys catches a 67-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Stanford Cardinal during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

When the Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams finalize their trade tomorrow at 3 PM. The first two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft may as well be written in stone.

Manufacturers can begin to stitch the name Luck on the back of Colts jerseys and Griffin on the back of Redskins jerseys.

This trade leaves the Minnesota Vikings in an ideal position. Essentially, they hold the new No. 1 pick in the draft and it is assuredly up for bidding.

Most experts and fans agree that the Vikings will take Matt Kalil if they stay with the No. 3 pick. However, after Justin Blackmon reportedly ran a 4.41 40 at his pro day, that certainty is becoming more of a guess.

Personally, I do not believe the Vikings will indeed draft Blackmon as evidenced by the release of two former starting offensive linemen in Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera. But, Blackmon's performance does open the door for new trade possibilities.

Now that the Cleveland Browns are out of the running for RG3 and seem to be sticking with Colt McCoy for at least one more year, they will desperately be looking to add help to their receiving corp for next year. Blackmon is the type of talent that could make the Browns fall in love.

You may be asking yourself, if the Vikings are picking third and the Browns fourth, and the Vikings are going to take Kalil, why on earth would the Browns even entertain the prospect of trading with the Vikings?

The answer here is simple: If Cleveland is indeed that enamored with Blackmon, and the Vikings begin to "leak" information about possibly trading with another WR-hungry team such as the Jaguars or Panthers, Cleveland may decide it is worth a third-round pick to move up one spot.

Likewise, if the Jaguars, Panthers or any other team decide like Atlanta did a year ago that they are one elite WR away from a Super Bowl, we could see a bidding war that ultimately will be most beneficial for the Vikings and their glut of needs.

This scenario could also play itself out if a team like Kansas City or Arizona signs either Matt Flynn or Peyton Manning and sees themselves only needing a franchise LT named Matt Kalil to make a Super Bowl run.

When all is said and done, the Vikings should be grateful that this trade took place five weeks before their selection, and not five minutes before. By April we should begin to see what kind of value this pick really has, and which teams are willing to pay for it.