Apr 27, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier (far left) and general manager Rick Spielman (far right) introduce first round draft picks Matt Kalil from Southern California (left) and Harrison Smith (right) from Notre Dame during a news conference at Vikings headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Greg Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Vikings Have Excellent First Day Of NFL Draft With Pair Of First Round Picks

The Minnesota Vikings earned high marks for the decisions they made in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, selecting Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith.

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NFL Draft Grades: Minnesota Vikings Considered 'Winners' After First Round

The Minnesota Vikings have probably had more than their fair share of blunders when it comes to the NFL Draft, but the 2012 rendition seems destined to be different. It may be too early to say that after just one round, but general manager Rick Spielman is getting high marks for Thursday's results.

NFL Draft grades were released by ESPN following the conclusion of Thursday's 32 picks and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Vikings were named the biggest winners for their decision to grab Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith after trading down to get the former and then back up to grab the latter.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman proved to be the shrewdest among the wheelers and dealers. He was able to get three additional picks from the Cleveland Browns and still get the player the Vikings wanted -- left tackle Matt Kalil. The process started by getting the word out that they wanted to draft either Kalil or cornerback Morris Claiborne. The idea was to convince the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who started with the No. 5 pick, that they might be left with Claiborne if the Vikings selected Kalil and the Browns selected running back Trent Richardson. He also got word out that other teams were interested in picking No. 3.

Unlike the Bucs, the Browns knew the Vikings wouldn't take Richardson; they have Adrian Peterson on the roster. Although the Vikings didn't get a second- or third-rounder, the acquisition of a fourth-, fifth- and seventh-round pick gave them even more flexibility in this draft. That upped their draft total to 13 picks. As the round developed, the Vikings were able to move back into the first round in a deal with theBaltimore Ravens to get safety Harrison Smith. The Vikings came out with Kalil and Smith, and have 10 more choices over the final two days of the draft. It doesn't get much better than that.

It'll be a whole new ball game if they're able to pull that off with their 10 picks coming up over the next couple of days, but at least they started off better than most likely expected.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, head over to The Daily Norseman. For more news and information on the NFL, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub and for more on the NFL Draft as the hours tick closer, head to SB Nation's specialized NFL Draft hub.

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Ravens Trade With Vikings, Minnesota Moves Back Into First Round

Minnesota Vikings' General Manager Rick Spielman said that there was a chance that his team could move back into the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, and they have done just that.

The Vikings traded their second-round selection, the 35th overall, and a fourth-round selection, the 98th overall pick, to the Baltimore Ravens to move up to the 29th pick in the first round.

At this point, we don't know what position the Vikings could be targeting, though this writer's guess is that it's a wide receiver. After drafting offensive tackle Matt Kalil, the wide receiver spot is probably the Vikings' biggest need, and it would not be surprising to see them take someone like LSU's Rueben Randle or Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill with their newly acquired selection.

What will the Vikings do with the 29th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft? We won't have to wait too much longer to find out!

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Minnesota-Cleveland Trade: Great Move By Vikings GM Rick Spielman And Company

Not many people, yours truly included, believed Rick Spielman when he said that the trade market for the third overall pick was starting to heat up.

Oops.

The Minnesota Vikings did, indeed, pull off the deal for the third pick, getting three extra picks from the Cleveland Browns to move back one spot. Now, rather than picking third overall, the Vikings pick fourth overall, and gain an extra fourth-round pick, an extra fifth-round pick, and an extra seventh-round pick in the process.

Obviously this is a huge deal for the Vikings. The Browns, it appears, moved up in order to select Alabama running back Trent Richardson. This changes nothing for Minnesota because. . .well, because they weren't going to take Richardson anyway. Their pick is still going to be USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil or LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, so the Vikings got three extra draft selections for, essentially, free.

Have to give Rick Spielman credit for this. The Vikings now have 13 picks in this year's selection process, including four in the fourth round. I'm guessing that some of those picks could be used to move up at some point, but we'll have to see how it goes.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, head over to The Daily Norseman. For more news and information on the NFL, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub and for more on the NFL Draft as the hours tick closer, head to SB Nation's specialized NFL Draft hub.

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Vikings-Browns Trade: Minnesota Gets Three Extra Picks For Moving Down One Spot

The Minnesota Vikings made a trade with the Cleveland Browns prior to the beginning of the 2012 NFL Draft, moving from the No. 3 pick to the No. 4 pick. The Vikings likely will still get their guy -- there are rumors the Browns are zeroed in on running back Trent Richardson -- and some nice picks on Saturday in the process.

The Vikings will receive the Browns draft picks in the fourth, sixth and seventh rounds, according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network. The Browns have sent the fourth pick, 118th pick, 139th pick and 211th pick to the Vikings in exchange for the one-spot swap.

What is clear is that the Vikings are still likely to get either Morris Claiborne or Matt Kalil, whichever one they were interested in picking up this year.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, head over to The Daily Norseman. For more news and information on the NFL, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub and for more on the NFL Draft as the hours tick closer, head to SB Nation's specialized NFL Draft hub.

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Minnesota Vikings Trade Third Overall Pick To Cleveland Browns

The 2012 NFL Draft hasn't even begun and a huge trade has already happened. The Minnesota Vikings have decided to swap picks with the Cleveland Browns, moving down from the third to fourth spot in exchange for three picks later in the draft.


More From SB Nation: 2012 NFL Draft First Round Coverage

The Vikings have been rumored to be interested in a few guys so it makes sense that they were willing to make a deal if it made sense the rest of the way. The deal apparently made sense, according to Jay Glazer.

Depending on when those picks are, that could be an excellent haul for the Vikings -- and even if they aren't until late, the fact that the Vikings apparently will still get the guy they want should be good enough.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, head over to The Daily Norseman. For more news and information on the NFL, head over to SB Nation's NFL hub and for more on the NFL Draft as the hours tick closer, head to SB Nation's specialized NFL Draft hub.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

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