2012 NFL Draft: Minnesota Vikings Would Be Stupid to Trade Down

Sammy Sucu@oblivion08Senior Analyst IApril 4, 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

If the Minnesota Vikings decide to trade their third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, it will haunt them forever. 

According to a report from Joe Obelre of CBSSports.com, Ryan Tannehil may change the way the Vikings think about their third overall pick. 

Talk of Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill moving up continues with speculation having him going to the Browns at No. 4 or the Dolphins trading with the Vikings to grab him at No. 3. Vikings GM Rick Spielman likes this kind of talk as he's often shown interest in trading the pick. Expect the Tannehill talk to increase heading into the draft.

Although it may seem like a good move because the Vikings need all the draft picks they could get, it is actually the worst move. It's not like Minnesota is two to three players away from making the playoffs. The Vikings will enter a two-year rebuilding process starting this offseason, and they need to focus on getting the best available player at a position of need. 

If the Vikings trade their third pick, they will definitely not find someone to fill that criteria.

Unless the Cleveland Browns decide to draft Tannehill and trade up one spot in fear of the Miami Dolphins trading up, the Vikes should hang on to this pick. Moving down one spot will keep them in the same position they were in with the third pick. No damage will be done in that scenario.

However, if the more likely scenario occurs and the Dolphins try to trade into the Vikes' spot, then they will be in a odd position.

It would not make sense for arguably the worst team in football to select a player with the ninth overall draft pick. Especially considering that the three coveted prospects—Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne and the much-coveted Matt Kalil—will all be gone by the time the ninth pick rolls around. 

Based on what Vikings fans have been saying, they will be upset if either Claiborne or Blackmon are selected. Imagine what the fan base will feel if the Vikes end up with a lesser cornerback like 'Dre Kirkpatrick, or another wild card at wide receiver like Michael Floyd. 

Not only will the fan base be upset, but the organization will feel like they were not properly compensated for their pedestrian performance in the 2011-2012 NFL season. It only makes sense for a very bad team that needs a new look to draft a top-three prospect. 

Someone like left tackle Jonathan Martin, Kirkpatrick or Floyd will not change the face of the franchise.

Someone like Kalil will bring protection for developing quarterback Christian Ponder, and help make a bad offense line a great one. The Vikings offensive line needs someone to help protect the pass and to open up more holes for the running game.

In the 2011-2012 season, the Vikings offensive line was always being switched around because of injuries and inconsistent play. A top-flight left tackle will ensure that the line stays consistent and plays to their fullest potential.

Kalil is just the guy for that. 

Blackmon will bring an incredible talent and set of hands to a receiver corps that that is lackluster. Other than Percy Harvin, Ponder has no one else to throw the ball to. Not only does a quarterback need a strong offensive line, but he also needs a wide receiver who can bail him out when there is nothing else available.

Justin Blackmon
Justin BlackmonJoe Robbins/Getty Images

Blackmon could be that guy better than anyone else in this year's draft can. 

Claiborne is the best cornerback in the draft. He has top-five potential, and could help revamp a much maligned 26th-ranked pass defense.

The Vikings face Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler six times per year. With that being said, the team needs to ensure they don't destroy their pass defense. Claiborne is the type of player who can put a body on top receivers like Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings and Brandon Marshall.

Some of the other players in the draft might be able to contain these players, but Claiborne has the ability to completely erase these players out of the stat sheet.

The Vikings need that more than ever, and Claiborne is their only saving grace. 

The best decision is to take Kalil because he is the least risky and will likely be the most successful out of the three. The Vikes could find gold in the later rounds with players like Claiborne and Blackmon, but a Kalil will be hard to find.

Kalil will definitely not be there if the Vikings are selecting with the ninth pick in the draft because the St. Louis Rams will likely take him with the sixth pick. Waiting for Kalil at the ninth pick is a risk the Vikings should not be willing to take. 

However, if the Vikes decide to trade out of the third pick, they will either end up with a great first-round pick next season or a slew of picks in this year's draft. It may sound like a good thing now, but you cannot rebuild a team with a bunch of mid-level talents. 

If Spielman is serious about putting together a Super Bowl team in Minnesota, he better stay put with the third pick in the 2012 NFL draft. 


Follow me on Twitter for everything NFL/NBA/WWE @ThaFreakness_BR.