Minnesota Vikings

2012 NFL Draft: Should the Minnesota Vikings Trade Down?

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 3: Morris Claiborne #17 of the LSU Tigers returns an interception for a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs during the SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on December 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
Joshua MoeschlCorrespondent IIIApril 26, 2012

With the 2012 NFL draft just hours away and the first two picks locked up, the Minnesota Vikings are suddenly in an interesting position. 

If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Cleveland Browns decide they must have a specific player, we might see Vikings general manager Rick Spielman trade out of the No. 3 slot. 

Minnesota has been long-rumored to be locked into taking USC tackle Matt Kalil. He is one of the highest-rated tackle prospects in years and could solidify Minnesota's offensive line for the future.

After losing Steve Hutchinson, the Vikings' current line looks like Swiss cheese. So in that regard, Kalil makes a lot of sense.

In the pass-happy NFC North division, Minnesota might also be interested in LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. Having a lockdown corner in your secondary is a luxury few NFL teams have.

These guys just don't come around every draft. 

The real question is who the Bucs and Browns really want, and whether Minnesota can get them in a bidding war over moving up to No. 3.

The Vikings are always a wild card in the draft. From missing their pick to taking a guy who no one expected them to take, they have done it all.

I expect them to take Claiborne or Kalil, after trading back a few slots and acquiring additional picks. If the Vikings can still get their guy while trading back, that seems like the logical way to go.

Don't rule anything out, though.

Just when we are thinking the team will draft Kalil, the Vikings might surprise us and take Justin Blackmon or some other player they were never linked to.

Either way, we are only hours away from finding out. I can't wait.  

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