If the Minnesota Vikings select LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, they will make one of the biggest mistakes in their franchises history.
Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 Twin Cities tweeted, "The more I talk to people in the league, the more I think there's something to the idea of taking Morris Claiborne at No. 3."
There is no denying that the Vikings need to fix their 26th ranked secondary through the draft. There is also denying the fact that Claiborne is the best cornerback in the draft, and could easily become one of the best in the league.
However, the Vikings need at left tackle is just as pressing, and no prospect outside of the second round will be able to fill that hole for the team the way Kalil would.
On the flip side, the Vikes could draft a cornerback in the second or even third round who would have even potential to be one of the best corners in the league. Someone like Alfonso Dennard or Janoris Jenkins in the second round would be perfect for the Vikings. Both cornerbacks have great potential to help the Vikings weak secondary.
The drop-off from Kalil to the rest of the tackles in the draft is not as great as the drop-off from Claiborne to the remaining corner-backs.
Both Jonathan Martin and Riley Reiff, the second and third best prospects at left tackle, will be gone by the second round. After that, the Vikings will not have much to choose from.
Should the Vikings take Claiborne with the third pick?
If they don't, second-year quarterback Christian Ponder may be given the "bust" tag early on because of the lack of time he is going to have every time he drops back for a pass.
Priority No. 1 should be to find help for Ponder. It also does not make much sense to draft wide receiver Justin Blackmon here because most scouts think he is not worth the third overall pick. The Vikings could find another receiver later on like an Alshon Jeffery, Stephen Hill, Rueben Randle or Brian Quick and see close to or just as much production as Blackmon.
The other way to help Ponder is by adding a left tackle with elite potential. Kalil is the man who will keep Ponder off the ground and give him more time to throw. Ponder needs to get in a groove next year if the Vikings really want him to be the quarterback of the future.
However, if the Vikings do not care much about their young quarterback, they might as well draft Claiborne and prepare to select Matt Barkley with the first pick in the 2013 NFL draft.