After Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen fell out of the top 10, Minnesota Vikings fans were hoping Clausen would land in their laps with the 30th pick.
Vikings fans remember 2006, when virtually-unknown-before-the-draft Jay Cutler was poised to fall to them at pick 24 but was scooped up by the Denver Broncos at 11. The Vikings selected linebacker Chad Greenway with their pick.
As Clausen fell past Jacksonville, Seattle, San Francisco, and Arizona—teams that many mock drafts had taking Clausen—Vikings fans began to grow antsy at the idea that their new franchise quarterback may be on their way to town.
As commissioner Roger Goodell stepped up to the podium to announce the pick, he announced that the Vikings had traded their pick to the Detroit Lions, who then selected running back Javid Best.
Minnesota sports fans may remember Best, who ran for five touchdowns against the Gophers while playing for the University of California. Cal won the game, 35-21.
For the 30th pick and the Vikings' fourth-round pick (128), the Vikings received the second pick in the second round (34th), the second pick in the fourth round (100), as well as the second pick in the seventh round (214).
If the Vikings were eyeing Clausen, they still have a chance to get him.
But there is only one explanation why the Vikings didn't grab Clausen when they had the sure chance: He wasn't that high on their draft board.
Reportedly, the quarterback the Vikings were interested in was Tim Tebow, who was ironically taken by the Denver Broncos, who acquired the pick via a trade with the Baltimore Ravens.
Reportedly, 30 of the top 32 players on the Vikings' board were taken, and there are four players they are interested in taking in the second round. The Vikings may even be looking to move down a few more spots to acquire another pick.
In my opinion, there are seven players the Vikings should consider taking with their next pick:
Colt McCoy, QB
Reportedly, McCoy was ranked higher on the Vikings' draft board than Clausen.
Toby Gerhard, RB
The Heisman finalist would fit well into Chester Taylor's role as a third-down back.
Brian Price, DT
Could fill in for an aging Pat Williams, and could even step in as a starter if the Williams Wall is suspended the first four games of the season for using StarCaps. Price was the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
Taylor Mays, S
Would step in as an immediate starter and would upgrade the poor safety play of Tyrell Johnson and Madieu Williams.
Sergio Kindle, OLB
With Chad Greenway and Ben Leber entering the final year of their contracts, the Vikings should look at Kindle. Kindle was ranked as a top-15 pick in most mock drafts. Would fit in better in a 3-4 defense, but would be able to play weak side linebacker if the Vikings don't re-sign Leber. Injury concerns linger around Kindle, though.
Roger Saffold, OL
Not a speed guy. Could move from guard to tackle, but would not be fast enough to play left tackle. Would fit in well to replace Artis Hicks' swing role. Hicks signed with the Washington Redskins.
Chris Cook, CB
Very physical corner. Not afraid to get dirty. Would be very involved in stopping the run, which the Vikings have been very good at the past five seasons. Not a speed corner.
Originally, I had the Vikings selecting CB Patrick Robinson, but Robinson was selected 32nd by the New Orleans Saints. I still think the Vikings will upgrade their secondary, with Antoine Winfield aging and Cedric Griffin coming off an ACL injury. The Vikings will draft Chris Cook and will pray or try and trade up for Colt McCoy.
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