NodakPaul's first round thoughts...
OK, so with the draft tomorrow, I decided I would finally weigh in on my thought process for our first pick.
There are four scenarios that are generally accepted as possible tomorrow:
1) The Vikings pick Kalil
2) The Vikings pick Blackmon
3) The Vikings pick Claiborne
4) The Vikings trade down
It is obvious that our biggest needs are at LT, WR, and CB. Ideally, we will address two of those needs in the first two rounds. While Blackmon and Claiborne are bigger impact players than Kalil, the talent level at OT drops off so much in this draft class (especially in comparison to WR and CB) that I am convinced that we will take an OT somewhere in the first round.
That means that scenarios 2 & 3 are not going to happen IMHO.
So we either take Kalil with the #3, or trade down and try to snag Reiff. After Reiff goes, the talent at OT goes down quickly, and we need someone who can start week 1. Because of that, if we do trade down, we can't trade down out of the top 9. I simply don't see Reiff making it past Buffalo at 10.
- Cleveland - Will not trade up. Regardless of who goes at #3, Cleveland will take Richardson, Blackmon or Claiborne. All three are solid picks.
- Tampa Bay - Will not trade up. They are eying Blackmon or Claiborne. With Cleveland almost certainly taking Richardson if he is available, there is an almost certain chance that either one of their guys will be there at 5.
- St Louis - Could be convinced to move up, especially if they are targeting Blackmon or Kalil, neither of who will make it to the #6 spot if the Vikings stay put. But I doubt it. WR is easily their biggest need, but there are a lot of quality WRs who will be available in the second round. And they don't need to trade up for Kalil because Reiff will be available stille.
- Jacksonville - Probably won't trade up. They could use a WR and OT, but their biggest need is at DE, and they will be able to take the first one off the board.
- Miami - The only player they might be enticed to trade up for is Blackmon, but again, there are a lot of good WRs who will be available later in this draft. I don't see them moving up. Besides, if they want Tannehill, he will still be here.
- Carolina - Won't trade up - at least not to #3. They need too much help on the defensive line, and Jax is the only team in front of them with the same needs. They will gladly take Claiborne if he falls to them, otherwise will concentrate on DL.
So that is picks 4-9, and I don't see a viable trade partner. If we trade with Buffalo, they will almost certainly take Kalil, which would mean St Louis will take Reiff, and the Vikings would be shit out of luck.
So when all is said and done, unless we get a RGIII level trade offer (which is possible), I don't see us trading out of the #3 spot. And with the #3 pick, the Minnesota Vikings will be selecting Matt Kalil, Tackle, USC. :)