Jan 9, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; LSU Tigers cornerback Morris Claiborne (17) carries the ball during the first half of the 2012 BCS National Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Report: Are Vikings Leaning Towards Morris Claiborne?

Perhaps this is all just a smoke-screen, but one of the less-questioned stories in the upcoming NFL draft was that the Minnesota Vikings would select USC Offensive Tackle Matt Kalil. Well not so fast, the National Football Post reports that the Vikings may not be as sold on the Trojan tackle as we all initially thought.


Bob Sansevere of the Pioneer Press reports that Vikings GM Rick Spielmann doesn’t agree with the contention that you need a premiere left tackle to win in the NFL, citing the success of the Packers and Giants without one. The Vikings would ultimately prefer to trade the third pick before having to use it, but if they do, apparently Kalil isn’t a slam dunk with the selection.

Per Sansevere, Spielman has “raved more” about Claiborne than Kalil. At this point, that doesn’t mean much of anything. The Vikings are going to get a terrific player if they remain in the spot. Who knows? Maybe a club that desperately wants Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon will offer a blockbuster deal. You can’t rule it out.

As I mentioned this could all be a ruse. The Vikings very well could decide they want to take Kalil and are simply trying to play up the market on another player to try and garner some trade talk. But they could be serious too. The Vikings play in a very pass happy division with the Packers, a Lions team where Matt Stafford just threw for about 5,000 yards and a Bears team that recent acquired Brandon Marshall.

Most “experts” have Claiborne falling to the Buccaneers with the fifth overall selection, but if he ends up in Minnesota Mark Dominik will have to decide on a plan B.

We’ll be back with some analysis in a bit.

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Tags: 2012 Bucs Draft Minnesota Morris Claiborne NFL Tampa Bay Vikings

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