In Greg Cosell's first 2012 NFL Mock Draft on NFL.com, he projects the Minnesota Vikings selecting former South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore with the third overall pick. Cosell's mock draft is based on his own film study and assessment of team needs.
Here's what Cosell had to say about the pick:
The Vikings play in the same division with Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler. You cannot compete in the NFC North without quality corner play. For the Vikings in 2012, a corner is more important than a left tackle. Minnesota takes the best corner prospect in this draft: South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore has a chance to be a Charles Woodson type player down the road: athletic, physical and competitive, playing outside in the base defense and in the slot in the sub-packages.
Cosell rates Gilmore higher than former LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, but Minnesota GM Rick Spielman has already said that he will select either Claiborne, Matt Kalil or Justin Blackmon.