2012 NFL Draft: 10 Players the Minnesota Vikings Should Watch in Day 2

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2012 NFL Draft: 10 Players the Minnesota Vikings Should Watch in Day 2
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It turns out the Trent Richardson sweepstakes weren't quite as lucrative as the Robert Griffin III's were.

After playing their draft cards close to the vest over the past two months, the Minnesota Vikings took the player that most experts expected them to on Thursday night, selecting offensive tackle Matt Kalil out of Southern Cal with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft.

The Vikings got their man and picked up three more draft picks in the process. Not quite the sexy first- or second-round picks the Rams picked up for trading out of the two spot, but for a team that needs to fill as many holes as Minnesota does, the more picks the merrier.

GM Rick Spielman has pulled no punches over the last several weeks in saying that Minnesota had three players all ranked evenly: Kalil, cornerback Morris Claiborne and wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Unlike most draft scenarios, people watching the Vikings closely seemed to have less and less of an idea of what Minnesota was going to do as draft day approached.

In that respect, kudos should be given to the Vikings staff. By not showing their cards they were able to explore every possible trade route available to them. Not showing any favorite leading up to the draft had to get other teams on edge when considering who they were hoping for. Did the Rams want Justin Blackmon bad enough to trade up to get him? Did the Bucs have enough interest in Trent Richardson to leapfrog the Browns to get him? It turns out the Browns wanted Richardson more than the Bucs and gave the Vikings three later picks in order to switch spots and make sure they got Richardson.

Spielman then pulled the trigger on another trade, swapping their second-round pick and one of their fourth-rounders to the Ravens, for their first-round pick, the 28th overall choice. The Vikings filled a major need by taking safety Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame.

So, with Kalil and Smith in the fold, we look at who the Vikings may be looking at in day two of the draft, when Rounds 2 and 3 take place on Friday evening.

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