As it stands, the Vikings may very well end up with the No. 2 selection, but my guess is they land at No. 3. I think the Vikings can still pull off a win either against Chicago or Washington, maybe both.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is a lock to go No. 1 regardless of how he does at the combine and his pro day. One must wonder what the Rams will do.
The Rams could go a variety of ways. They could select LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, USC tackle Matt Kalil or OSU wide receiver Justin Blackmon, among others. The truth is, the Rams decide what will happen in the 2012 NFL draft.
In my honest opinion, I do not believe the Vikings are in rebuilding mode. Being in rebuilding mode indicates that a team has few pieces to work with. However, the Vikings still have several key pieces that include Percy Harvin, Adrian Peterson, Christian Ponder, John Sullivan, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Chad Greenway.
It's no secret that the 2010 and 2011 seasons are a couple to forget. However, the pieces are there. With a decent secondary and offensive line, this team will be ready to roll once again.
With the No. 3 pick, the popular choice will be Matt Kalil. There is almost no bust potential here. Kalil is the Andrew Luck of offensive linemen.
However, what happens if they trade back?
Teams like Miami, Seattle, Washington, Buffalo, Cleveland, Arizona and Kansas City could be looking for a quarterback. I would be taking offers for this No. 3 pick. The pick clearly has value. The offer must be favorable though.
**UPDATE** Matt Barkley has announced that he will return to USC next season. This drastically increases the value of the Vikings' pick due to only three quarterbacks worthy of a first round pick. They are Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and maybe Landry Jones. With many teams needing a quarterback, the Vikings could get a steal in a potential trade.
If the Vikings were to trade back far enough, they could acquire a first-round pick in next year's draft in addition to a second- or third-round pick this season.
If they were to land past the 15th pick, there are some options. They would easily grab another second-round pick at this point.
In the first round, why not go with guard David DeCastro to free yourself of either Anthony Herrera or an aging Steve Hutchinson?
That Vikings could move Charlie Johnson to the other guard spot, which would solidify four of five offensive line spots. What about left tackle? Why not give DeMarcus Love a shot? Who knows? He could be the guy if he is given the chance.
With the extra second-round pick, could the Vikings find their way back into the first round to grab a cornerback like Dre Kirkpatrick, Janoris Jenkins or Alfonzo Dennard? What about grabbing wide receiver Michael Floyd instead?
If the Vikings trade back just a bit, they could snag an extra second-round pick and may be able to grab Jonathan Martin or Riley Reiff. Again, the second-round pick rule from just above can apply again.They may not end up with that first pick in next year's draft though.
The scenarios are endless, and what the Vikings do this draft will really determine their future.
Protect Christian Ponder and fix that secondary. Do this in the first two rounds, and Minnesota is no longer a doormat.