Minnesota Vikings 2012 NFL Draft Preview: Take Matt Kalil Or Trade Down?

  @http://twitter.com/jtalty on April 19 2012 4:31 PM

Unlike the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins, the Minnesota Vikings aren't deadest on whom to take with the third pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Vikings picked quarterback Christian Ponder with the 12th pick in the 2011 draft, which would seemingly rule out Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannenhill, but everyone else seems to be a possibility. The Vikings could go with USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil to shore up a porous offensive line; or look to the defensive side of the NFL Draft in order to better a defense that finished 26th against the pass in 2011.

Here are some of the possibilities for the Vikings:

Matt Kalil, offensive tackle, USC

Kalil is the presumed third pick in this year's draft. He's easily the best left tackle in the NFL Draft and could be vital in protecting Ponder, the Vikings' quarterback of the future. He's as impressive as it gets for young lineman and could anchor the left side of the offensive line for years to come. The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, and CBS Sports all have the Vikings taking Kalil. This is the most likely current option for the Vikings.

Morris Claiborne, defensive back, LSU

The talented corner back from LSU would be a great addition to the Vikings' weak secondary, but it could be an unlikely pick. Claiborne, who was recently ridiculed for a poor score on the Wonderlic test, could be a great help when the Vikings have to face the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford twice a year, as Sports Illustrated's Peter King noted in his most recent mock draft.

Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd, wide receivers, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame

There is no way that the Vikings will take either Blackmon Floyd with the third pick, but they could possibly target them if they trade down in the draft. The Vikings have entertained offers of teams possibly looking to move up to nab Tannenhill and could go after one of the two top wide receivers depending on how far they move down. The Vikings have a lot of holes, but adding a dynamic wide receiver to the oft-injured Percy Harvin is a priority.

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