Owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts Jim Irsay is suddenly no stranger to the “Quarterback Carousel” game that haunts many NFL teams.

For the first time in a very long time, he has had to evaluate this Draft class’ top quarterback prospects after giving away the identity of his franchise, Peyton Manning.  While it is widely expected that Irsay and company will ultimately select Stanford star Andrew Luck with the first overall pick, he recently made comments about Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill that would suggest the Vikings will at least receive some inquiries about the availability of the third overall selection.

Irsay’s recent tweet said, “Tannehill is a hidden gem in this draft, a quiet secret who was always sneaking up to #3..you want him, you better talk to Zigi The Biggie!”

Former Colts G.M. Bill Polian also took to the airwaves to suggest that the path to Tannehill will run through the third overall selection.  He predicted that the Miami Dolphins would trade up to the third spot giving the Vikings their eighth overall selection, their second rounder, and their third rounder to secure Tannehill.

Since trade speculation is starting to pick , Brett and I, who have somewhat different opinions on the topic, decided to create a debate post to start the conversation. We hope it will continue into the comments section with opinions from you all.

According to this post-lockout chart, the Vikings third overall selection is worth 401.3 points of value.  The eighth overall pick (318 points), second round pick (159.1), and third rounder (119.4) total 596.5 as a package which suggests the Vikings would be getting the better end of the deal.

Okay, on to the debate!

ADAM SAYS:  Let me start by saying I like the idea of drafting Matt Kalil.  However, if we were sitting at the eighth overall spot this year, I would hate it if the Vikings gave up a slew of picks to move up and snag him.  So, it stands to reason (in reverse), that I wouldn’t pass up on an offer of great value for the chance to draft Kalil.  Obviously, trading to the four spot with Cleveland would be the ideal situation, as the Browns could take Tannehill and the Vikings could still nab Kalil.  Heck, we could even give Cleveland a discount on the asking price in exchange for a guaranteed shot at Kalil.  A trade with Cleveland that dropped us to the four spot and got us an extra third rounder would be a heck of a deal.

I will also say, that the Vikings should try to gain future picks in these deals.  If you take the middle point value from the round being offered in 2013, you cut that point value in half.  For example, if a team offers the Vikings a second round pick in 2013 in a trade, that pick should be valued at about 75 points in 2012.  By this time next year, however, that pick would be worth between 129 and 175 points.  It doesn’t take a professional investor to figure out that the rate of return there is too good to pass up.

Brett Says: Before we begin, Adam, I want to let you know that I am an expert debater. So, do not expect to come away from this thing with a victory. Our readers will unanimously agree with me in the comments. Your resistance is futile! Also, I would like to propose that, from here on out, we only refer to our beloved Vikings owner as “Zigi the Biggie.” Now that we’ve got all that established…

The Vikings should not trade out of the #3 spot. Unless it is with Cleveland and they pinky promise not to take Kalil. That way, we could still acquire draft picks and get our guy. I understand that the Vikings have a plethora of holes to fill and that amassing as many picks as possible will go a long way in rebuilding this team. But, talent at left tackle like Matt Kalil does not come around and often. And, what do you know? Left tackle is our biggest position of need. (I am aware there our other opinions out there concerning the Vikings largest need. I just think, in a season that is all about Ponder, we need to protect him.) Matt Kalil is a guaranteed starter who will protect Ponder (or whoever our QB is…) for 10 years, barring any injuries.

You can’t pass up on that type of talent. Not for 2nd or 3rd round picks where you are much less likely to find a guy who is as much of a sure thing as Kalil.

Adam Says:  Child, please.  This is still my house, and the fine (and good looking) readers of VT are sure to recognize the wisdom of my words.

I’ll keep this rebuttal short.  If we were sitting at the eight spot, would you trade up to the three spot to grab Kalil?  If so, how many of our valuable picks would you trade away to grab this one player?  Is Kalil such a “sure thing” that you would be okay with delaying the rebuilding of this roster’s many other needs?

Brett Says: We’re talking two completely different things here. To answer your question, no, I would not trade up to take Matt Kalil. I am against giving away our valuable picks when we have so many needs to address. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take him though when we don’t have to give up anything to do so! Because I wouldn’t trade up to get Kalil means that we shouldn’t take him when we don’t have to give up picks? I don’t really understand your point here…

Matt Kalil is easily the best non-QB in this year’s draft class. In fact, he’s considered by a few to be one of the best left tackles to come out of college in quite some time. It’s ludicrous to pass on him when left tackle is such a pressing need for this team.

My turn for a question: Let’s say we do trade down to the #8 spot as the Polian scenario we’re debating suggests. What do you do now that you are at #8? There isn’t really anyone at #8 who fills our major needs? Kalil, Blackmon, Richardson, Claiborne and possibly Reiff will all be gone at that point. Do you reach on someone like Jonathan Martin or Michael Floyd? I’m sure you’d probably want to trade down even further (which I would agree with at that point) but, honestly, I doubt anyone would be interested considering the quarterbacks and other top-5 talents are gone.

What do you do when you are at #8 and you’ve missed out on Kalil?

Adam Says:  First off, if you leave a trade offer of a first, a second, and a third on the table and go ahead and select Kalil then you have indeed given up something to draft him… a second rounder, and a third rounder.

Secondly, I think you need to check your math.  If the first three picks are Luck, RGIII, and Tannehill then how could Kalil, Blackmon, Reiff, Claiborne, and Richardson all be off the board at the eighth spot?  Math isn’t necessarily my strong suit, but I do believe one of them (if not more) will be there for the taking or to act as trade bait for, yes, yet another trade backwards.

I also believe Kalil is the best non-quarterback in this class.  In fact, I think he is the second best player in this Draft, and I would love it if he were a part of this team.  However, the assessment you give of Kalil as a prospect is debatable and is surely being discussed by scouts far more qualified than you or I and I can guarantee that it isn’t as clear of a choice as you think it might be.  Kalil doesn’t exactly have any red flags… but he does have a few pinkish colored ones.

If the Vikings ended up getting (for example) Blackmon, Mike Adams, and an extra third round pick instead of Kalil and Jeffery I think that could be a better scenario than people might think.

Brett Says: Alright, alright… I messed up a bit – forgot that Tannehill would be taking one of those spots. So, we would probably have a shot at Reiff. But honestly, that doesn’t make me feel any better about missing out on Kalil. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I still think that a talent like Kalil should not be passed on by a team with such a desperate need at that position.

Your example where the Vikings end up with Blackmon is highly unlikely if they move down to the eighth spot.  And there is a significant drop-off in talent from Matt Kalil to Mike Adams. Furthermore, even if they did somehow get Blackmon/Adams I would still prefer the duo of Kalil/Jeffery. I think most Vikings fans would agree with me there.

The Vikings already own 10 picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. That is a great start to rebuilding a struggling franchise. Sure we could keep adding more picks and have 12 or 13 picks, but at a point, I think it becomes an issue of quality vs. quantity. Do we keep trading back, amassing more picks and selecting players who are less likely to succeed in the NFL? Or do we keep the good amount of picks we have now and take the best players available when we’re on the clock? I tend to align with the latter option which is why I think the Vikings should stay at #3 and select Matt Kalil.

Plus, I’ve already ordered my Kalil jersey. What am I going to do with that thing when we end up with Michael Brockers as a result of trading down?

Adam Says: And you have hit the nail right on the head, in terms of our philosophical difference when it comes to the Draft.

It would be one thing if I fully trusted Rick Spielman to hit on a good number of those draft picks, but the truth is that no matter how much of an optimist I want to be, I do not fully trust Rick Spielman’s abilities as a General Manager.  Therefore, I would feel safer taking the “accuracy by volume” approach to the Draft rather than have Spielman target specific players and trade up to get them, which he has been known to do.

The Vikings need to ensure they have some insurance policies in place for missed draft picks, otherwise the rebuild will be greatly delayed.  The quickest and best shot they have at securing more young, talented players is to move backwards a few spots and gain more 2012 and 2013 picks.

Of course, if you have full trust in Spielman’s ability to select talent, then limiting the Vikings to the picks they currently own could indeed work out just fine.  Like I said, I don’t think Kalil would be a bad start.

Brett says: I don’t have a lot of faith in Spielman, either. I’m hoping he proves that he is more than capable but only time will tell. I do not, at this point in time, have a lot of faith that he can find great value after the first round. There isn’t a lot of room for error in selecting Matt Kalil. There is, however, tons of potential for a screw up with Spielman orchestrating a trade and then trying to find talent in later rounds.

I’ll say it again: Drafting Matt Kalil is a sure thing. A sure thing at a position of need should not be passed up. If you’d rather put your faith in our unproven GM and trust that he can pull off a trade as well as use the accumulated picks to find talent deeper in the draft, that’s your choice. I’ll take the sure thing every time.


  1. I’m going to have to agree that trading down to 8 would be a fantastic scenario for the Vikings if the offer is great enough. However, as a Dolphins fan, I’m going to have to say that giving up those picks would be a HUGE mistake since our team has more holes that a wedge of Swiss cheese. I’d love to have Tannehill, but we just can’t pay a fair price to acquire him. We will just have to take our chances that he falls to us. That being said, Stephen Ross will disagree with me and pay a higher price than the Redskins did for RG3, and I’ll be a sad Dolphins fan for the next decade while the Vikings win multiple Super Bowls. That’s just the way things go when you’re a Dolphins fan.

    • would have to agree if I were a dolphins fan..
      With need at WR, QB and possible many more I don’t know your team very well, but it seems like a lot to give up for just a single prospect, who by experts opinion must likely would first be able to start next year… He better be darn good if the choose that option.. I would not start panicking if I were dolphins cause they would loose a lot of draft picks for one guy.

  2. I’m going to have to go with Brett on this one (sorry Adam). First off, your logic is flawed in saying that trading up from 8 is the same as tradin down from 3, it’s not. The big difference is that if we were at 8, we wouldn’t have the extra 2nd and 3rd round picks. If we were at 8 with two 2s and two 3s, trading up to get an elite player would make a lot more sense than if we only had one of those picks. Secondly, I think your accuracy by volume approach leads to building a very average at best team (unless you have a great coach/GM, which we do not). If you don’t trust our GM (and who does) then trading down to 8 makes even less sense. Our first pick this year MUST be a hit, with Kalil that’s guaranteed, at 8 it’s not.

    The drop off after the first 5 prospects (Luck, Kalil, Griffin, Richardson, and Claiborne) is big. Giving up a blue chip player for a few extra picks would be a big mistake, especially considering the likelyhood of us butchering the picks we traded for. Next year we can focus on accumulating more picks when a new regime takes over (hopefully).

  3. Also, I wouldn’t be so sure Tannehill is the more likely player someone trades up for. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Trent Richardson has been heavily linked with the Browns, Bucs, and Rams, and in my opinion, would be the top choice for all 3 teams. If the Bucs or Rams want to guarantee him, they’ll have to come to the Vikings, and I could definitely see the Bucs considering it. They’ve spent big all offseason upgrading their team, but still haven’t found a stud HB. Mark Dominik has shown that when he wants a player, he goes and gets him and wouldn’t be afraid to pull the trigger. This would allow the Vikings to draft Kalil (or at the very worse Claiborne), and still probably pick up a 2nd or 3rd

    • I would simply LOOOOOVE to trade down with Tampa bay to the fifth spot. If they trade up to get richardson, then browns are in a situation in where they have to pick between: Claiborne, Kalil and Blackmon (or tannehill) they could also trade this selection to rams and then rams will pick up kalil just infront of vikings, but I would be okay with this because we will then get Claiborne at 5 and get extra picks.. Instead of missing out at great talent by moving all the way down to the 8th spot

  4. Sorry Adam,
    I like the Brett’s logic in keeping the pick, seems like the safest pick, Plus anchoring the O-Line for the next decade.
    Blackmon,Adams, plus a 3rd is nice ,But I still like the Kalil and Jeffery package better.

    And I don’t believe you would find too many folks trusting Spielman’s ability in picking talent, Just have a feeling he squander the extra picks…

  5. You have both made some good points, but Adam, I think i’m going to have to go with Brett on this one! I’m opposed to trading down to 8 for several reasons. Adam, I know we’ve debated the accuracy by volume draft strategy before, but in this scenario I think the Vikes are best suited to staying at 3 instead of 8.

    When you’re rebuilding, it’s vital to hit on your first round picks, the further you trade down the less likely this becomes (especially with Spielman). Look how quickly the Lions were able to rebuild by hitting on high first round picks in consecutive years (Stafford, Megaton, Suh and to a lesser extent Pettigrew). When you’re in position to draft blue chip players you have to take them, unless of course the compensation is phenomenal (like the rams trade – in that case I would trade back)

    In your scenario, you pass on who you have rated the ‘best non-qb player in the draft’, in a position of need to acquire a 2nd and 3rd round picks. The first problem with trading back to 8 it is entirely feasible the Vikes could miss out one of the elite players in the draft and unable to trade back. What do we do if Richardson is the only elite player left at 8 and we can’t trade back? The Vikes certainly won’t draft him! Who do the Vikes take at 8 when they can’t trade back and Kalil, Claiborne and Blackmon are gone? Is it worth missing out on who you rate as the best non-qb player in the draft in a position of need, in the hope that Spielman hits on an extra 2nd and 3rd round pick?

    If we moved down to 4 or even 5, I would be fine with it, but 8 is too far. Why should the Vikes accept a 2nd and 3rd rounder when the Rams got a two and two future firsts to move up the same number of spots (given one of slightly higher value)?

    Rebuilding can’t be done in one draft. Draft Kalil, lock in your LT for the next decade, protect your young QB and help open some lanes for your $100 million running back.

    • will have to agree

      I won’t move futher down the list that to number 5, perhaps 6. I want the vikings to be able to land either, kalil, claiborne or Blackmon (in that order). I think at 8 we could be forced to reach on a prospect.. Like floyd or Reiff. I don’t know how good these guys are, but I don’t think they are in the same class as Blackmon / kalil.
      I would be able to accecpt kalil not being there if we move down to 5# but then hopefully Claiborne will still be on the board.

  6. What are the chances that the Dolphins would be willing to include Jake Long?
    I liked the article. I can see both sides of the argument. It seems like there is a huge drop off between Kalil and all the other tackles. I don’t like Reiff’s lack of height and short arms. It would be nice to have one less key position to worry about filling in the future. But if the price is right that would be nice too. If you’re moving all the way back to eight, I think that you would have to get an additional first for next year as well as an additional second, plus more picks. Unless they include a player like Jake Long.

    • Thanks for the comment Mike! I would find it hard to imagine that the Dolphins would be willing to include Long in a trade up to #3. Weirder things have happened, though… but I’m not sure they would be willing to sacrafice the LT position to get the 3rd best QB in this draft.

      I agree that Reiff’s arms are potentially a problem. We’ll be revealing my big board pretty soon, but I can tell you that I still really like Jon Martin and have him rated as a top ten prospect. I know many draftniks have dropped him down into the 20’s for some reason (and without much explanation) but I don’t think he is that much of a dropoff from Kalil.

  7. I have to agree with Brett too, I hate the #8 spot, #4 – great, #5 – fine by me, but beyond that, no way, pick Kalil and take the BPA who happens to be one of our (if not THE) biggest needs.

  8. 13 comments… not one in my favor… I think it is time I make like Santorum and “suspend my campaign” :) Thanks for all the great discussion guys!

    • had you argumented for dropping down to st. louis / tempa bay I would be on your side.. I just think sliding down to the 8th spot will leave us without the good players in this years draft.

      • Yup, I understand that, and agree with you. trading down only one or two spots would be preferable.

        I don’t agree that blue chippers won’t be there at 8 though. DeCastro, Kuechly, Kirkpatrick… all at a position of need.

        • Those 4 players you named there.. taken anyone of these would be consider a reach in my estimation.. I don’t think any of these 4 guys deserves to be taken before the 10 spot..

        • I agree that DeCastro and Kuechly are also elite, but their positional value pushes them down a bit. While not all All-Pro tackles are drafted high in Round One, in general top tackles aren’t available later in the draft. On the other hand, there is always gems at guard and linebacker later on. Plus, by drafting Kalil, we also upgrade our guard position by shifting Johnson inside.

          I agree with Harvest, I HATE the number 8 spot in this draft as it seems lile the first spot where the talent has a bit of a dip and you’re going from blue chip to a slight dice roll

    • I just have a feeling that Spielman thinks he is smarter than everybody else and he could really screw this up.

  9. For whatever reason I really dislike the 8th spot in this draft. It just kinda seems like a position where you aren’t going to get any type of real value. The cut off point of the elite talent very well might start at the 8th pick, and that’s just not going to cut it for me. If they trade down, I would either want it to be by just a couple picks to still get one of our big three targets (Kalil, Blackmon, or most likley Claiborne, or go down between 11-15 where a Kuechly or Poe/Brockers wouldn’t be a reach pick and also pick up a 1st rounder in next years draft. If we are going to miss out on one of those three players, I would need to see a first round pick in next years draft to be okay with it. They likely won’t be getting an extra 1st from the Dolphins, so I’m really not feeling that trade with Miami.

  10. You both are Tops in my book! Always educational.
    Oh, and I Didn’t vote that you both were idiots lol…

  11. The lack of trust with Ricky seems to be the common theme here, hell I’m not convinced Ricky will take Kalil if they end up picking #3. He doesnt think LT is that important to team success, maybe that’s just a smokescreen but I think he believes that.

  12. Stay put and take Kalil. No draft pick is ever a sure thing, but he’s pretty close
    Hope Ricky Poo doesn’t get paralysis by analysis, no need to over think this, pick Kalil

    The Dalai Lama is in Honolulu this weekend, think I’ll go buy him a decent shirt, one with sleeves

  13. If you guys get a chance listen to Corey Chavous at draft nasty.com, break down why he thinks Reiff is better than Kalil for the Vikings. It is very interesting.

  14. I don’t think there is a winner or loser of this debate. It is just 2 different views for what to do or what they could do. The only losers of this whole thing could be the Vikings and their fans if Ricky doesn’t do his job and screws the pooch in the draft since he’s in the position now to make all the calls. I have to say it as much as it scares the hell out of me, but I guess we just have to trust(albeit blind) what he does.

    • Ditto Norse. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope Ricky gets lucky if nothing else. And no not that kind of lucky. Lol

      • I just think Kalil to to good to pass up. It fills a huge need and they get one if not the safest pick in the draft. I just don’t see how you can screw that up. I’ll be sure to keep the Pepto Bismol handy during the draft.

        • I think Kalil is hands down the safest pick in this draft. He’s been rated the top tackle of the draft since last season (and would’ve been the top tackle last season as well), he kept Tyron Smith, who’s been great in the NFL, on the right side despite being younger, and he’s also got the bloodline and work ethic to succeed. After how many year with a left tackle more concerned with money and music than football, it would be really refreshing to get a good old school OT who lives for the game of football.

        • Can you imagine the live-chat if Ricky doesnt select Kalil? I have a feeling the PG-13 language restriction will go right down the crapper. Will be interesting for sure and I can’t wait. Can I blame this team for driving me to drink?

          • I’ll be the first on chat voicing my displeasure after I launch the remote through the TV. It sounds like a reasonable cause to me. First it was Chilly and now it may be Ricky.

            • I think I’ll watch the draft on my old tv just in case the remote slips out of my hand. I better lock up the shotgun as well

              • I guess I should have waited to buy my new AR. It might get a workout during the draft. Good suggestion on watching the draft on a old TV. I better right that down on things to do.

              • Johnny,
                I’ll try a practice run,I’ll have Deb handcuff me and try the Provac ! lol…
                Whatever they do ( so many options) Just hope it is a Great draft…

                • Charlie you should be careful with the handcuf comments, you know Tomb is lurking around just waiting to pounce on a comment like that. Lol!

                  • I kinda miss having the Draft on Saturday and Sunday… Just not used to having start on Thursday nite,I realize they wanted it on prime time oh well, Another other one of Goodell’s idea’s that i’m not excited about…

  15. lot of good points made, guys. i agree that trading down to 8th would require a lot in return to make it worthwhile for us, so unless we get a good offer to drop just a couple of spots, i’d bet we get kalil, which is fine. i didn’t vote

    i’ve been thinking about this idea that we had so many of last year’s draftees make the team, and it’s probably partly because we had a 3-13 team, so the competition wasn’t there to keep the new guys out, not necessarily that we drafted so well, and the same could happen this year, too. i don’t expect much, maybe 5-7 wins with our weaker schedule, but really hope ponder has a good year, as qb has become even more important now in the nfl, and that trend should continue as the nfl focuses on illegal hard hits

    • I didn’t expect last year especially with the lock out and Knew the McNabb was a mistake. I liked what I saw from Ponder. Yeah, he made some rookie mistakes, but so do all rookie QB’s. But you can only do so much when you are running for your life as soon as the ball is snapped. Honestly, I look at the draft we had 2 years ago. That draft was a dumpster fire for the Vikes. Chilly drafting no names just for depth. That’s why last year there was no competition for positions IMHO.

    • Norse,
      Just have someone handcuff you and make sure you take a double dose of Prozac.
      You should be fine…

  16. I just hope Jeff Dugan finishes off toppling the regime in North Korea in time to report to training camp
    The Vikings really went downhill last year while Dugan was away on assignments

    Kim Jong Il – Dead
    Gadhafi – Dead
    Bin Laden – Dead

    Has anyone heard from Dugan? Maybe he’s in Cuba……..

  17. You’ve continually bashed Kalil, but I haven’t once heard you justify why he would be a mistake..

  18. Holy cow! Maybe Adam and I should debate more often. Let me rephrase that… Maybe I should beat Adam in debates more often. :)

  19. We should have traded down more and gotten more 2013 picks. Next year’s version of “kalil” will be just as good. There is a “once in a decade” player available every year…. They overhype draft picks all the time! Cam Newton was a great pick, but Luck and RGIII are great. Next year they will be talking about the Stanford QB. Every single year there’s a new “savior”… just trade all your picks this year for picks next year every year for the next 5 fuggin years as well as trade all your elite veteren players. You will own the entire first 64 picks of the draft. Then trade half of them for 64 picks of next year’s draft (1st this year is worth a 1st and a 2nd next year), plus all the picks 3rd round and below and use half of them and repeat every friggin year and you get 32 of the top 64 draft picks every friggin year. Heck, if you suck at drafting, trade for the consensus best players EVERY YEAR that are already proven. It’s not fuggin rocket science… How idiotic can these fuggin gms and owners get? Only 1 team out of 32 will win every year, so if you don’t create a dominant DECADES worth of football players, you are relying on LUCK (not andrew) to win it all. It’s insanity. Why do we even sit here and have to talk about “who” we should draft… ummm.. HOW ABOUT NOBODY FOR THE NEXT 5 years!!!!! then we can have a team that dominates 2017-2030 and beyond and no one else stands a chance.
    Yes, I realize that not every team wants to mortgage their future, but generally speaking the return provided by trading in for the future is a HUGE inefficiency in this market to exploit

    Rodgers, Stafford, Brady, etc… give them this decade and give it up. You still can field a quality team in a “moneyball” fashion by vet minimum replacement level players and under rated players. Take all the cap hits in year 2 and by year 3 you start building your team.


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