Friday, March 27, 2015
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morris claiborne

This is just a quick note to let you all know that I have updated my 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

There are some major changes that might interest you, but the Vikings third overall selection has not changed, despite Rick Spielman’s best efforts to convince us he wants to select Morris Claiborne.

Click here to check it out, and feel free to question/criticize/praise my choices in the comments section.

I apologize for being absent most of Monday, but luckily for me it turned out to be a pretty slow day.  Let’s take a look at what did happen:

Abdullah Has An Offer:  Apparently the Vikings have made an offer to safety Husain Abdullah and he is “mulling it over.”  Abdullah has been a serviceable option at safety the last two years, but has struggled with concussions, and could be a possible starter into the future, as well.

Schwartz To Visit Niners:  “Awesome Visit with the Vikings!” tweeted offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz on Monday.  Schwartz left Minnesota without a contract but the Vikings knew that was the plan all along.  He has visits set up with the Chiefs and the 49ers over the next couple of days and Schwartz plans to honor those commitments.  “Just doing my due diligence,” Schwartz tweeted, and one can’t blame him for that.

Felton To Visit:  Fullback Jerome Felton is set to visit the Vikings on Tuesday, despite the recent signing of Lex Hilliard, not to mention the presence of Ryan D’Imerio and Matt Asiata at the position.  Felton was a fifth round pick by the Lions in 2008 and has also spent time with the Panthers and Colts.  The Vikings tried to claim Felton off of waivers last year, but the Panthers claimed him and had priority.  Felton is only 25 years old.

Pre-Draft Visit For Kirkpatrick:  The Vikings have a pre-Draft visit set up with Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.  Kirkpatrick, known for his skill as a zone coverage player, and six foot two inches and widely regarded as the second best cornerback in this Draft class.  He would likely be a serious option if the Vikings were to trade backwards from the three spot.

More Claiborne Talk:  Bob Sansavere of the Pioneer Press discusses some first-hand conversations with General Manager Rick Spielman that could suggest he is serious about selecting LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne over USC left tackle Matt Kalil in April’s Draft.  More smokescreen?  You be the judge.

Whether by design or otherwise, the Vikings are suddenly in possession of the hottest pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The third overall selection that the Vikings hold is suddenly the center of the most buzz.  There appears to possibly be a trade market growing for teams that think Ryan Tannehill could be a franchise quarterback.  Peter King mentioned it earlier in the week, and Matt Flynn’s signing in Seattle has seemingly left the Browns and the Dolphins out in the cold in regards to their quarterback situation.

I find it hard to believe that any team would be willing to select Tannehill third overall, let alone trade up to get him there, but stranger things have happened.

Also, I had previously passed along an article citing an unnamed source saying that the Vikings front office was somewhat split and the LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne could seriously be considered by the Vikings when they are on the clock.

The National Football Authority has a similar article today in which a source “close to the scouting ranks” who says the Vikings will indeed target Claiborne over tackle Matt Kalil and receiver Justin Blackmon.

Claiborne is a quality player worthy of consideration, but I find these unnamed sources stories hard to take seriously this time of year, as the Vikings or any other team could be sending out smokescreens for any number of reasons.

Regardless, the Vikings have successfully gone from “they will certainly take Kalil” to “they have lots of options” and that mystery can only help them in their quest to generate a trade partner in April.

It has been widely assumed that if the Vikings remained at the third spot in April’s Draft, they would select USC left tackle Matt Kalil.

Now, before I go any further, it would be a mistake for me not remind you that it is never too early to begin throwing smoke screens around, and the Vikings may be doing just that.

Still, it is worth noting that an unnamed Vikings official recently told The Sports Xchange that there is still heavy debate over which prospect would be the best available at the three spot.

The report singles out LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne as a player still in the mix to be selected third overall.

“But some people here love (Claiborne),” the official said. “I mean really love him.”

Obviously these two, and also Justin Blackmon, are prospects earning high praise and have the potential to help any team they are selected by.  Also, all three positions are major needs for this Vikings team that is, so far today, being very conservative in free agency.

Pick five is in the books in our Vikings Territory Community Mock Draft. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made an unsurprising pick and took Morris Claiborne, the stud cornerback from LSU. It wasn’t even a contest with Claiborne receiving 82% of the votes.

Now, the St. Louis Rams are back on the clock after moving down and trading their #2 pick to the Washington Redskins (who selected Robert Griffin III). The Rams primary needs are offensive tackle and wide receiver. Do they reach a little bit and take Riley Reiff or Michael Floyd? Do they trade again and attempt to move down further in the draft? You decide in our poll below.

After making your pick, make sure to tell us the reasoning behind your choice in the comments section and we may include your analysis in our draft table.

You’re on the clock!

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