Could it be the real mystery in the NFL draft in three weeks is the fourth pick? It seems Andrew Luck is the solid first pick to Indy. Washington spent a fortune for the second pick and Robert Griffin III. Then comes Minnesota and tackle Matt Kalil from USC. That leaves the Cleveland Browns at number 4. Or could there be drama before?
The general consensus is that Minnesota needs help on the offensive line, so the obvious pick would be Kalil, who is the top rated tackle in college football. Yet the injury to Adrian Peterson has many wondering if the Vikings shouldn’t take a running back. That would mean Trent Richardson, who apparently the Browns have their eyes upon.
However if Peterson is able to return to top form, and only the Vikings know what current shape he is in, then they could turn their eyes to a wide receiver. The team needs more offensive weapons to help quarterback Christian Ponder. If that is the case, then Justin Blackmon could be the man.
Blackmon is currently considered the top receiver coming out of college. However many feel while the 6’1″ and 215 pound receiver is likely to be a top receiver in the NFL, he is not an elite prospect worthy of a Top 5 selection.
If receiver is where the Vikings want to go, then trading down might be the best route for the team. If Cleveland does covet Richardson then Minnesota could even go further down in the first round. At number 5 is Tampa Bay, a team that might want to leap-frog the Browns in order to land the Alabama running back. Still the Bucs have LaGarrett Blount and Richardson could serve as an addition to a running game that could be the best on the league.
What if offense isn’t the way Minnesota decides to go. Defense could be an alternative and Morris Claiborne may be the pick. The LSU cornerback could be the shut down corner Minnesota is looking for. Claiborne is the consensus top defender, and one of the few truly elite players available in this year’s draft class. Someone Minnesota can build a defensive foundation around.
Whatever the pick, Minnesota holds the key to the next few picks. Either by picking a wide receiver, tackle, running back or corner. Even if they trade the pick. The rest of the picks will fall into place.