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2012 NFL Mock Draft: SI's Don Banks Sticking With Matt Kalil For Minnesota Vikings

Figuring out who the Minnesota Vikings are going to take with the No. 3 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft has been pretty easy, if you go by the large number of mock drafts out there. There was only one level of uncertainty, which had to do with the St. Louis Rams at pick No. 2 and who they were likely to pick. Most assumed the Vikings and Rams both were interested in wide receiver Justin Blackmon and offensive tackle Matt Kalil, and whoever was left of the two after St. Louis would be the Vikings' pick.

Well, with the Washington Redskins making that huge trade for the Rams' pick, that basically means that Robert Griffin III will be going at No. 2, so Minnesota has their pick. But which one will it be? Don Banks of SI.com is going with the safe bet in his Mock Draft 3.0, giving the Vikings offensive tackle Matt Kalil:

For now I'm not buying the notion the Vikings are moving away from Kalil and toward either LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne or Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon. Not that they're unworthy picks at No. 3, but Kalil is also worthy, and the value/need of the Vikings' left tackle position is at least as high, if not higher, than it is at cornerback or receiver. After watching the Rams hit the jackpot at No. 2, sounds to me like Minnesota wants to see if anyone is interested in giving up a boatload to trade up to No. 3 for one of the draft's elite talents or possibly No. 3 quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Banks' reasoning is pretty sound here, and in the case of Blackmon, it makes a lot of sense. Is providing Christian Ponder with another target more important than giving him some protection with an offensive tackle? That theory is helped by the fact that the Vikings recently brought in tight end John Carlson, a reliable target for Ponder.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

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