Minnesota Vikings 2012 Draft: Analyzing Potential First-Round Picks

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Minnesota Vikings 2012 Draft: Analyzing Potential First-Round Picks
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Ponder has justified Minnesota taking him with the 12th overall pick.

As it stands right now, the Minnesota Vikings have the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. With four weeks of football left, it's hard to imagine the Vikings picking outside the top five.

The 2010 season showed that the Vikings had some glaring holes all over the place.

The 2011 season has shown the Vikings need help almost everywhere.

See the trend here?

With the offensive line performing poorly and the secondary becoming invisible over the course of the season, it is clear that these two issues need to be fixed quickly. There's always free agency, but the Vikings do not have a lot of room to work with.

They could kiss Steve Hutchinson goodbye after a mediocre year and relieve themselves of close to $8 million against the cap. They could also release struggling cornerback Cedric Griffin who is due approximately $5.5 million in 2012.

The Vikings will also watch Donovan McNabb's $7 million, E.J. Henderson's $7 million, Anthony Herrera's $3 million, Jim Kleinsasser's $3 million, and Greg Camarillo's $2 million among other come off their books. That's roughly $22 million for those players alone.

In other words, the Vikings will have some money to spend in free agency, but not a lot if Hutchinson and Griffin stay with the team.

That leaves the draft for the Vikings to improve their roster. Let's examine some ways they can improve with their first round selection.

(Salary numbers courtesy of www.spotrac.com)

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