Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Robert Griffin III

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Day one of our “Community Mock” is in the books and the Indianapolis Colts predictably came away drafting Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.  Luck received over 89% of the votes.  Remember, the progress of our mock can be viewed by clicking here, which includes analysis from you, the readers.

Today, it is the Rams that are on the clock, which presents a number of options both in terms of players and trades.  Take a look at the options, make a pick or choose your own path by selecting “other” and specifying what you think in the comments. 

Remember, if you leave a comment with your vote, you might just get picked to provide the “analysis” for the pick in our mock.

Here we go:

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For the next 32 days (give or take) I want to take Vikings Territory on a journey through the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft by allowing you to vote on each pick on a day-by-day basis.  The picks will be decided by who gets the majority of the votes and the results will be posted here, updated daily.

In the “analysis” section of the grid I will pick a comment that I feel best describes the rationale behind the choice, so be sure to leave a comment stating your reasoning.

Today, we will start you off with an easy one, as the Colts are on the clock with the first overall pick.

It seems to be all but a done deal that the two Draft selections in front of the Vikings will be used on quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, in that order.  That essentially leaves the Vikings with the options of selecting left tackle Matt Kalil, selecting cornerback Morris Claiborne, selecting wide receiver Justin Blackmon, or trading down for a healthy ransom.

Rumors are flying around right now that the Rams could trade that number two pick well before April’s Draft, however, which could put the Vikings next in line to entertain substantial offers for the third overall selection.

And those rumors of an early trade might just have some weight behind them.

Think about it.  The value of the number two overall selection, which gives a team the right to presumably draft Griffin, may never be higher than it is right now and the Rams reportedly have a large number of suitors.

If they wait, however, then some of those suitors will likely drop out of the running as they fill their quarterback needs elsewhere.  Fewer suitors means a smaller audience for the auction, which could mean a lesser deal.

Let’s say, for example, that Miami signs Peyton Manning.  They are now out of the auction.  What if the Browns or Redskins sign Matt Flynn?  The Niners could re-commit to Alex Smith.  What if the Seahawks decided they wanted to roll with Jason Campbell?  What if one or more of those teams decide they like Ryan Tannehill and choose to wait it out for Draft Day and see how things unfold?

The Rams may never again have as many bidders as they do right now, following an amusement park ride of hype at the NFL Combine, and they may opt to strike a deal while the iron is hot. 

I would… if I were them.

If, and it is admittedly a big if, things unfold early with the Rams trade options, it could put the Vikings in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the Draft.  In fact, they may be able to hold an auction of their own for Tannehill if enough teams feel like he can be a franchise quarterback (we’ve seen lesser quarterbacks rise faster than that).

Or it could simply be a matter of testing the waters and seeing what price team’s might be willing to pay for a chance to snag Kalil, Blackmon, or Claiborne.

Being in the driver’s seat is exactly where the Vikings would ideally be sitting, so pay close attention to the drama surrounding the number two pick, as it might just define this Vikings Draft.

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Not that this should surprise anybody, but “sources” reported today that the St. Louis Rams have already decided to trade the 2nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. According to those same “sources,” they have had discussions with the Browns, Redskins and Dolphins (again, big surprise). Robert Griffin III’s stellar performance at the combine over the weekend pretty much sealed the deal that someone would move up into the Ram’s position to take the speedy quarterback from Baylor.

(Note: Take this with a grain of salt. Nothing is certain or official… And these pesky “sources” seem to jump the gun quite often. But ESPN’s Adam Schefter has even said the Rams will be trading the pick and he is almost always accurate in his reporting.)

What does this mean for our Vikings? Well, it means that we can have whoever our little hearts desire (that is, as long as their name doesn’t end in “Luck” or roman numerals). Moreover, it means Matt Kalil will almost definitely be in purple next year, protecting quarterback Christian Ponder’s blindside from Lions, Packers and Bears for many years to come. As we reported a couple days ago, Kalil had a good showing this past weekend at the combine and solidified his status as the best offensive tackle in this year’s draft class.

While they are unlikely, here are some other directions the Vikings could take on draft day now that we know what will be happening with the #2 pick.

  1. Trade the pick. (Very unlikely, though.. After Griffin, there really isn’t anyone good enough to trade up to the #3 spot for. But, who knows? Anything’s possible.)
  2. Select wide receiver Justin Blackmon.
  3. Select cornerback Morris Claiborne.
  4. Surprise (infuriate) everyone and do something completely unexpected.

A lot can happen in the next 58 days leading up to the draft and free agency will undoubtedly affect the Vikings draft strategy. But, with every passing day, it seems more and more likely that the Vikings will finally address a need that the team seemingly has had forever with Matt Kalil. Eventually, we’ll move past the third pick and begin to speculate more heavily about what the Vikings will do in the rest of the draft.

This week hasn’t generated much news, other than a few Coordinator candidates dropping from the list, but I managed to drudge up some solid links for you all to check out: