2012 NFL Draft

2012 NFL Draft: Why the Minnesota Vikings Are Round 1's Biggest Winners

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Matt Kalil (R) from USC holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #4 overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Jake SilverCorrespondent IApril 27, 2012

The decision is in. We may have a few more picks before the end of Round 1, but the Minnesota Vikings already take the cake as the biggest winners of the round. 

The Indianapolis Colts took Andrew Luck, the Washington Redskins got Robert Griffin III and the St. Louis Rams added to their ungodly hoard of draft picks, but all of this pales in comparison to the triumph of intelligence displayed by the Minnesota Vikings. 

The Vikings had their fans quaking in fear of Rick Spielman's potential to sow mayhem on their hopes and dreams, with rampant rumors that he would choose Justin Blackmon or Morris Claiborne.

Had the Vikings selected Claiborne or Blackmon, the franchise would have been severely set back by the complete stunting of their young quarterback, Christian Ponder. They would have had a new offensive weapon or defensive stud, but the face of their franchise would likely have been the league's most sacked quarterback in 2012. 

Another school of thought suggested that the Vikings could trade down for more picks for their rebuilding process if they really didn't want to draft Kalil.

Instead, the Vikings got the best of both worlds. They got to trade down for three extra picks, only moved by one spot and still got Kalil.

How? Enter the Cleveland Browns. This was a desperate team, terrified of the ghost of a notion that somebody else would trade up to No. 3 and grab Alabama's Trent Richardson, taking away their top prize for this draft.

Maybe that was true and maybe it wasn't, but the Browns were definitely spooked enough to offer the Vikings their fourth, fifth and seventh-round selections, just to swap the No. 3 and No. 4 picks. 

Well, the Browns got their rusher, and in the process gave the Vikings a top-five pick in three mid-to-late rounds.

So not only did the Vikings make the pick guaranteed to improve their franchise, they'll get to add three new pieces to their rebuilding process courtesy of the panicky Browns. 

Clear winners of the first round.



The Vikings gave their second rounder and the Browns' fourth rounder to the Ravens to get back into Round 1 a No. 29. They shored up the secondary with saftey Harrison Smith. Convinced yet? 

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