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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Morris Claiborne Still The Favorite If Rams Take Kalil

Offensive tackle Matt Kalil out of USC has been a favorite player lately to go to the Minnesota Vikings as the two QB's in the draft get taken first and fourth overall. The pick certainly makes sense, the Vikings could certainly use help along their offensive and defensive lines and Kalil is considered by some to be the best non QB prospect in the entire draft.

The problem with him being ranked so highly is that there's a good chance that the O-line starved St. Louis Rams will also want to snap the highly touted lineman up. Morris Claiborne is a likely candidate to take the spot if Kalil goes second overall. Walterfootball's Charlie Campbell says the pick is still no slouch for the Vikings:

The Vikings' defense gave up a lot of points and a lot of yards in 2011. Minnesota has to bolster its secondary in the offseason, and Claiborne is the top defensive prospect in the draft. Playing in the NFC North against the Packers' Aaron Rodgers and the Lions' Matthew Stafford requires a good pass defense for a team to be competitive.

In the NFL, Claiborne is going to bring speed and playmaking ability to the team that drafts him. The 6-foot, 188-pounder possesses a phenomenal skill set, and proved that throughout the 2011 season. He has the speed and athleticism to be an elite cover corner with the ball skills to punish teams for throwing his direction.

Giving up the best offensive prospect that isn't a QB isn't exactly a problem when the consolation prize is the best defensive prospect in the draft. Either way, it looks like the draft choices for the Vikings are being wound down to two possibilities.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NFL hub at SBNation.com/NFL.

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