Twice in the span of 4 days last month we discussed the possibility of a trade market emerging for the Vikings #3 overall pick. It’s been more than two weeks since we’ve revisited that potential scenario, and with the 2012 NFL Draft less than three weeks away it bears revisiting now.
It’s also appropriate to revisit the issue for two more reasons. First, the focal point of a potential trade involving the Vikings #3 overall pick, former Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill, held his pro day last Thursday. Charean Hill of the Star-Telegram reported that representatives from 22 teams, including heavy hitters from the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks, were in attendance. Hill also reports that both the Browns and Dolphins have had or plan to have alternative visits with Tannehill as well. Second, other outlets, including the website ProFootballTalk, are also gauging the potential of a trade market emerging for the Vikings #3 pick because of Tannehill’s rise up draft boards. NFL Network’s Mike Mayock even stated that the Browns would be wise to take Tannehill with their 1st-round pick (#4 overall).
As I’ve stated in the past on this topic, an objective look at Tannehill might not yield a Top 10 grade. But with the first two picks of the draft likely being QB Andrew Luck to the Indianapolis Colts and QB Robert Griffin III to Washington, other QB-needy teams may get anxious to use their 1st-round pick on a QB, too. On top of that, Tannehill was impressive at his pro day, completing 65 of 68 passes and running the 40-yard dash in 4.62-seconds.
So who might those QB-needy teams be? All 3 of the aforementioned teams – Cleveland, Miami and Seattle – were apparently interested enough in Tannehill to send decision-makers to watch his workout. You can fairly characterize Cleveland and Miami as QB needy, and while Seattle did sign QB Matt Flynn in free agency, it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that they’re interested in drafting a QB as well. In addition to those teams, I also wonder if Kansas City and Arizona are keeping an eye on potential QB upgrades as well.
There is a chance that none of this plays out, and the Vikings will keep the #3 overall pick and take the top player on their board. 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 Cardinals identify Tannehill as their target, for example, the Vikings would have to be willing to drop down to #13 to consummate a trade, which means coveted players such as left tackle Matt Kalil, WR Justin Blackmon and CB Morris Claiborne would all 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 likely be gone and it’s not a sure thing that Kalil would be there, either. Keep in mind, Tannehill’s college head coach was Mike Sherman, who is now the Dolphins Offensive Coordinator.
The ideal scenario for the Vikings, in my mind, remains a trade with Cleveland. The Browns hold the #4 selection, and the only way to ensure that they have the opportunity to select Tannehill would be to agree to a one-position flop with the Vikings. That would give the Browns the QB they covet, and it would still give the Vikings their pick among Blackmon, Claiborne, Kalil or someone else.
It’s a lot to think about, especially considering there’s a chance that none of it plays out. But Tannehill is the 3rd-best QB in this draft, and the only way for NFL teams to ensure a chance to select him before the Vikings use the #3 overall pick is to trade for that pick. As they’ve been the entire time, the Vikings are in great position with the #3 pick and fans should be looking forward to watching Rick Spielman and Co. leverage that great position in order to improve this roster.
Tags: 2012 NFL Draft
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 107 Comments »