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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Sporting News Has Vikings Taking Offensive Tackle Jonathan Martin

With one week to go in the regular season, it's still plenty early to start considering potential draftees and put together mocks for the 2012 NFL Draft. Well, it's plenty early for a lot of teams, namely those in the playoffs. For the Minnesota Vikings, their offseason will be one of worry as they consider running back Adrian Peterson, but the one bright spot to a lost season is that, with their franchise quarterback already on the roster, the team will have one of the top picks with which to draft one of the nation's best.

The mock drafts, as such, are trickling out, and the Vikings are certainly not suffering from a lack of options. Sitting near the top, they could be in the market for trading out of the pick to a team who is exceedingly quarterback-needy, but there are plenty of good options if they decide to keep it.

Sporting News posted an early mock draft, and they have the Vikings selecting an offensive tackle:

3. Minnesota Vikings: Jonathan Martin*, OT, Stanford. Martin is not an aggressive blocker, but he is a top athlete with the feet and technique to protect Christian Ponder's blind side for the next decade.

Stanford features some of the best offensive linemen in the country right now, and they're part of the reason for Andrew Luck's success. Acquiring one of them for Ponder will only help the young quarterback succeed, especially in a division with defense-oriented teams like the Lions and Bears.

For more on the Vikings, visit the Daily Norseman. Check out SB Nation NFL for more on the latest news and notes around the league.

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