Mock drafts around the league have reached a consensus on the top three picks in the draft: the Indianapolis Colts will take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, the Washington Redskins will take Robert Griffin II, and the Minnesota Vikings will then take Matt Kalil, offensive tackle out of Southern California. The opinion is essentially unanimous, and Wes Bunting of the National Football Post is not dissenting:
3. Minnesota Vikings: Southern Cal OT Matt Kalil
Quarterback Christian Ponder has shown flashes in year one, but he needs to stay healthy. Therefore, bringing in the top offensive tackle prospect in the draft who has a chance to mature into a Pro Bowl-caliber lineman seems like an easy selection at three.
It's hard to find a mock draft these days that doesn't share this opinion, and that's mostly because it makes a world of sense. The Vikings invested a lot in Christian Ponder by taking him so early in the 2011 NFL Draft, and need to keep him protected to ensure he's healthy going forward.
The only other pick you'll really see for Minnesota at No. 3 is Justin Blackmon, the wide receiver out of Oklahoma State. In Bunting's draft, Blackmon is going to the St. Louis Rams at No. 6. Blackmon is considered the top receiver and would also help Ponder, but in a different way. Still, your quarterback can't throw to your first-round draft pick if he's on the ground seven times a game.
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