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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Minnesota's Options With The 3rd Pick

In a 2012 NFL Draft post Wednesday, SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber took a look at the various options the Minnesota Vikings have with the third overall pick.

According to Van Bibber, the options for the Vikings are Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, Trent Richardson and Morris Claiborne or trading down to acquire extra picks. Kalil is the overwhelming favorite to be selected with this pick. Via Van Bibber:

Minnesota has Charlie Johnson at left tackle. In 16 games last season, Johnson allowed eight sacks, nine hits and 32 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Not exactly the kind of blind side protection ideal for bringing along a young quarterback like Christian Ponder, the Vikings' first-round pick last year.

Kalil would instantly improve the Vikings' pass blocking, giving their quarterback a fighting chance to make a play. With time, he projects as one of the league's elite at the position as he learns the art of run blocking.

The next best option, it would seem, is for Minnesota to trade the pick to a team trying to move up to grab Ryan Tannehill or Morris Claiborne. Here's what Van Bibber has to say about that possibility:

One possible trade partner is the Cleveland Browns, who could move up from the fourth spot at a relatively reasonable cost, the 22nd pick in the first round perhaps. They would do this to avoid another team leap-frogging them into the third pick to select Tannehill, if that's who the Browns have their hearts set on.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, head over to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub along with any NFL draft info you need at the SB Nation NFL Draft hub.

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