It’s no secret that the Minnesota Vikings have been shopping the No. 3 overall selection in this year’s NFL draft. While there have been countless NFL draft rumors as to who could be trading up and trading down, no pick has been a hotter topic than No. 3.
The Vikings should draft Matt Kalil if they stay at their current spot in the draft, giving them the best overall offensive tackle and some actual support for last year’s first-round selection, Christian Ponder. While it could all just be smokescreens, the Vikings to this point have not seemed overly content with selecting Kalil third overall.
The Vikings have a few areas of need to consider in this year’s draft, and trading back would give them added picks to bring in future starters. The Vikings likely aren’t happy with their spot now, because of a growing trend for top-10 teams selecting “playmakers" instead of addressing needs.
If the Vikings do pass on Kalil, he could fall to the Buffalo Bills at the 10th pick. The Bills are the only other team in that realm badly in need of a left tackle, but that doesn’t mean other teams may not opt to draft Kalil simply because of his overall skill set.
But, we’re not going to argue whether the Vikings should or shouldn’t stay where they are. No, now we’re going to analyze a growing rumor regarding who has inquired about the No. 3 pick (allegedly, of course) and how the draft would be affected.
Last year on the day of the draft, there was a hot rumor picking up steam about the Atlanta Falcons and Browns working on a blockbuster deal to allow the Falcons to draft Julio Jones. That rumor obviously came to fruition.
Much like that deal, the rumors of the Bills moving up to the third overall selection to select Kalil have been all anyone has talked about early on draft day. The supposed trade will mean the Bills and Vikings swap first-round selections, with the Bills kicking in their second-round (41st overall) pick as well.
The Vikings would likely lose out on Kalil and Morris Claiborne (the two best players at their biggest positions of need) at No. 10, but they could still be in line for another highly-rated offensive tackle or cornerback. The top players likely to be available at that point would be OT Riley Reiff (Iowa) and CB Stephon Gilmore (S. Carolina).
Most likely of the two, the Vikings will address their need at cornerback and go after rising star Gilmore. Adding the 41st overall pick would allow them to still select a quality LT prospect and draft for need (Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith?) early in the second round.
There are some quality offensive tackles that could get passed up because of a lack of need at the tail end of the first round and thus slip to Day 2. The Vikings could end up having a choice between Mike Adams (Ohio St.), Bobby Massie (Ole Miss) or Mitchell Schwartz (Cal) to play left tackle.
Instead, if the Vikings were to pass on Gilmore at No. 10 and select Reiff (which many believe would be a reach), they would lose out on selecting a top-tier cornerback in this year’s draft. Some speculate Janoris Jenkins could slip to the late second round, but if he is gone by then, there will be a big drop to the next tier of cornerbacks.
In this potential deal, the Bills would essentially get their franchise LT and replacement for Demetrius Bell, who was lost in free agency.
In their current position, the Bills have been rumored to have interest in a number of different players in the draft. Some think they could address the cornerback position, while others think they could reach for a receiver and add fuel to what could be a very potent offense.
If the Bills were to trade up for Kalil and lose their second-round pick, their chances of drafting a top-tier receiver or cornerback in the third round would be slim to none. Instead, the Bills would have to move to addressing absolute needs instead of selecting high-value players. This could rule out cornerback, but leave receiver as a need.
Just because the Bills would be looking for a receiver in the third round doesn’t mean there won’t be value there. In the last three years, there have been numerous receivers selected in the third round or later that have gone on to NFL stardom. There could always be a Mike Wallace (84th overall), Eric Decker (87th overall), Austin Collie (127th overall) or Denarius Moore (148th overall) somewhere in this year’s draft.
In all, the Bills look to be the most likely trade partner with the Minnesota Vikings in this year’s NFL draft. Of course, the Vikings could always decide to stay where they are and eliminate the chance of another trade in the top-five picks. But, as they say with these NFL draft rumors, where there is smoke, there is fire.