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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Are The Vikings Looking To Make A Trade?

The latest NFL Mock Draft by SB Nation's Brian Galliford and Dan Kadar was published on Monday, and there are some eye-popping draft predictions they have for the Minnesota Vikings which could shake up the NFL Draft order.

The first stunning draft selection is at No. 12, where the Vikings are scheduled to pick. He has Auburn DT Nick Fairley falling all the way to the Vikings, and I have to say, I would LOVE that pick. He makes strong arguments for the first 11 picks, so it's not implausible, but I would still be surprised to see Fairley there.  Says Galliford:

12. Minnesota Vikings: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn. The other big name to slide, Fairley would be an excellent fit in Leslie Frazier's defense alongside Kevin Williams. That is some serious pass-rushing ability inside.

Galliford is right on all counts: big surprise if Fairley falls to the Vikes, a great pickup, and the Vikings would quite possibly have the fiercest pass rush in the NFL, with Kevin WIlliams, Jared Allen, and Fairley. Wow, I'm stoked just thinking about that.

The second development is stunning, but in a bad way. Galliford projects the Vikings to make a trade late with New England to get back in to the bottom of the first round:

Projected Trade
NE gets: No. 43 overall (second round), 2012 second-round pick
MIN gets: No. 28 overall

28. Minnesota Vikings (f/NE): Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State. If Ponder lasts this long, there could be a dogfight for his services, and Minnesota seems the most likely team targeting Ponder to cough up a future pick to a team that specializes in acquiring them, the Patriots. Ponder is a nice fit for the Vikings and coordinator Bill Musgrave, and is pretty solid value at this point in Round 1.

So the Vikings lose their 2011 second round pick and 2012 second round pick to move up in the first round for...Christian Ponder? It reminds me a lot...too much, almost, of the 2006 draft day trade when the Vikes traded two third round picks to move up into the bottom of the second round to select Tarvaris Jackson.

Would anyone else be really, really mad about this, or am I in the minority here? I'm not opposed to the Vikings making a trade, but this one would be a bad deal for the Purple and Gold. If they have an eye on a quarterback like Ponder, my preference would be for the Vikings to trade down from No. 12 into the high 20s, and get somebody that way while acquiring an extra pick or two. They really need a quarterback, but they need high round picks more, because there are a lot of holes to fill. If the Vikings do this, they have two first round picks, but they lose two second round picks, to include one next year, on top of the third round pick they coughed New England...for Randy Moss.

I just don't see the Vikings doing this. If anything, I see them trading down and getting an extra pick or two.

And what's most galling is that Galliford has Detroit doing exactly that--trading down with New England, dropping from 13 to 17, picking up a third rounder from the Pats ... and taking Da'Quan Bowers. I'm not sold on Bowers, but if he pans out, that's a steal for the Lions, and they have a defensive line every bit as fierce as Minnesota's. 

There are a lot of directions Minnesota can go, and if they stay put and end up with Nick Fairley, I say declare victory and wait for the second round.  If they do trade, for Goodness sakes, don't trade up and sacrifice more picks.

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28, and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.