As I’ve written about several times and have discussed even more on the radio air waves, the Vikings have been and continue to be in a great position as holders of the #3 overall pick. And now I’m wondering if that position will get even better. Let’s think about it…
Several teams entered the offseason with a need at the QB position. Obviously the Indianapolis Colts will satisfy that need by selecting Andrew Luck with the #1 pick. With the Washington Redskins trading up from #6 to #2 with the St. Louis Rams, it looks as if they’ll try to solve their QB situation with Robert Griffin III. Many thought the Vikings potential to trade back from #3 took a major hit after the Rams-Redskins trade, but that may not be the case.
As we stand right now, several QB-needy teams remain. We’ll count the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks as teams looking to upgrade their starting QBs. The two most attractive options on the open market are Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. Manning appears to be heading to either the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers or Tennessee Titans, leaving the three aforementioned QB-needy teams still in need. Flynn, who has been linked to Miami because of his connection to Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin from their time together in Green Bay, is also on Seattle’s radar. He’ll likely go to one of those two franchises, leaving the other and the Browns as teams still looking to upgrade their QB situations.
And that’s where I believe the trade market for the Vikings #3 selection comes into play. After Luck and RG3, the top QB prospect in this year’s draft is Ryan Tannehill. An objective, isolated look at Tannehill would probably not yield a Top 10 grade in the 1st round, but with QB being such a vital position and with this year’s Top 2 QBs expected to go with the first two overall selections, Tannehill’s draft stock will become inflated.
In fact, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King recently pondered – via twitter – the possibility that any team looking to acquire the former Texas A&M QB may have to move up to the Top 4. Cleveland holds the #4 pick, which means that any QB-needy team that loses out on the Manning and Flynn sweepstakes must deal with the Vikings at #3 if they want a guaranteed shot at Tannehill before the Browns selection.
What does this mean for the Vikings? Well, there is a chance that none of this plays out and the Vikings will either stay at #3 and select a player of their choice, or they’ll have to leverage the availability of players such as WR Justin Blackmon, CB Morris Claiborne and RB Trent Richardson to other teams in order to trade back. But there’s also a chance that the market for Tannehill blows up to the point that some team(s) will seriously consider trading up to #3 in order to secure the opportunity to select him.
If that does indeed happen, the Vikings will have to decide how far back they’re willing to drop. If the Seahawks lose out on Manning and Flynn, resulting in a desire to trade up, the Vikings would have to be willing to drop down to #12, which means LT Matt Kalil as well as Blackmon and Claiborne, would surely be gone. If it’s Miami, the deal is a bit better for the Vikings because the Dolphins hold the #8 pick, but Blackmon and Claiborne would still likely be gone. Keep in mind, Tannehill’s college head coach was Mike Sherman, who is now the Dolphins Offensive Coordinator.
The ideal scenario, in my view, would be for Cleveland to move up 1 spot from #4 to #3 in order to select Tannehill. That would ensure the availability of Blackmon, Claiborne and Kalil for the Vikings.
It’s a lot to digest, but the moral of the story is a robust trade market could emerge for the Vikings #3 overall pick, which is a great thing for a franchise coming off a 3-13 season and in rebuilding mode. As they’ve been the entire time, the Vikings are in great position with the #3 pick and I look forward to watching Rick Spielman and Co. leverage that great position in order to improve this roster.
Tags: 2012 NFL Draft
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