St. Louis Rams: What If the Vikings Pass on Matt Kalil?

David HeebCorrespondent IApril 24, 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 draft talk is building to a magnificent crescendo as we approach Thursday night. The latest rumor swirling is the possibility that the Minnesota Vikings could pass on Matt Kalil (LT, USC).

If this happens, what does it do to the Rams' draft board?

Minnesota would be smart to take a long, hard look at Morris Claiborne (CB, LSU). Playing in the same division as Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Jay Cutler means you should probably stock up at the cornerback position, right?

For all the talk about finding weapons for Sam Bradford, the Vikings also have a young quarterback in Christian Ponder. Maybe the Vikings would select Justin Blackmon with the third overall pick in an effort to surround Ponder with more talent.

If the Vikings select Claiborne, it would not impact the Rams' draft board all that much, as most people have Claiborne rated as a top five pick. If this happens, the picks would probably go Claiborne (Vikings), Richardson (Browns), Kalil (Bucs), and Blackmon (Rams).

If the Vikings take Blackmon, however, it could really throw things off.

If that happens, the picks would probably go Blackmon (Vikings), Richardson (Browns), Kalil (Bucs), and then a great big question mark for the Rams.

With a premium talent like Claiborne available, what would the Rams do?

Would they pair up Claiborne with Cortland Finnegan, giving the Rams a pair of shutdown corners? As tempting as that sounds, it means the Rams would be passing up on the chance to draft a premier receiver for Sam Bradford. Would the Rams instead elect to "reach" for Michael Floyd (WR, Notre Dame)?

That is the dilemma the Rams might face Thursday night.

If this is the scenario the Rams face, here is my advice: take Claiborne. He is the better player.

With a pair of shutdown corners and bookend pass rushers—Chris Long and Robert Quinn—life would get really difficult for every QB that has to face the Rams' defense next season. Also, the Rams would have a really good chance to draft a playmaker at the top of Round 2.

I'm talking about Alshon Jeffrey.

Jeffrey and Blackmon were once considered the top two receivers in this draft. Jeffrey is bigger, has put up great numbers, and is still seen as an elite prospect by many draft experts. If Jeffrey is available at the top of Round 2, I think the Rams should take him even if they drafted Blackmon with their first round pick!

Now wouldn't that be fun, Bradford flanked by two dynamic young receivers? Would Jeff Fisher really do that? Would he really draft receivers with the first two picks the Rams are holding?

Thursday night, all these questions finally get answered. I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait.