The 2012 NFL Draft is now less than one week away, and the Minnesota Vikings have reportedly narrowed down its list of possible draftees down to three players with the No. 3 pick, provided they do in fact stand pat and decide to not trade down from their current draft spot.
According to multiple sources, including the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has given a list of three possible draftees to his staff to consider at the No. 3 spot. If Minnesota does hold onto its’ No. 3 pick, the Vikings will apparently only consider drafting USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil, LSU defensive back Morris Claiborne or Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.
“What you’re saying (to the staff) is, ‘All these guys have equal ability,’” Spielman told the Pioneer Press. “What do you want? Do you want the receiver? Do you want the tackle? Do you want the corner?’”
Truth be told, the Vikings could use any of the aforementioned players just as much as the next. With Andrew Luck going to the Indianapolis Colts, and Robert Griffin III presumably going to the Washington Redskins, the Vikings hold the first pick that has yet to be decided. And after a poor performance last year, the Vikes need a lot of help if they wish to be at all competitive in the 2012 NFL season.
Kalil still appears to be the safest and smartest pick, at least in my opinion. While the Vikings need much help across the board, it is always a wise decision to begin with a strong left tackle, and Kalil could dominate his position for the next decade. He has that type of potential, and also has it in his bloodline. Matt is the younger brother of Ryan Kalil, who has been a Pro-Bowl offensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers for many years, and many believe that Matt may actually have a brighter future.
Claiborne would be another option, as the Vikings’ pass defense was absolutely atrocious last season. Claiborne has shut down corner written all over him. Adding a player of his caliber would instantly upgrade a porous Minnesota secondary.
Finally, Blackmon is the highest rated receiver in the 2012 NFL Draft, and those high marks come with good reason. He is a hard worker who can go across the middle and beat you deep. Blackmon is not the prototypical diva wide receiver, and would serve as a top target to any team who selects him. Christian Ponder needs to be given a fighting chance, and with Percy Harvin often injured, Blackmon would add some stability and explosiveness to a somewhat predictable Vikings offense in 2012.
Either way, the Vikings were horrible last season, so any of the three players would be a drastic improvement over their current roster. Trading down to stockpile more picks is always an option, but unless the team receives a blockbuster offer similar to what the Redskins gave up to the St. Louis Rams in order to move up to the No. 2 spot, Minnesota should stay put and draft one of these impact players.