The Vikings continue to look at trade options with their No. 3 pick in tonight's NFL draft and are getting offers, but they are searching for the right combination of still being able to pick one of their "blue chip" targets and garner at least one more pick, according to a source with knowledge of the talks.
Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said offers were already being received earlier this week, enough that there was a "potential" for a trade. However, Spielman also said he would likely wait until today to make any decisions.
So far, according to the source, there have been at least two offers. Buffalo, sitting at No. 10 and wanting USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil, offered to switch first-round picks with the Vikings and give up their second-round pick (No. 41 overall). However, the Vikings appeared to be hesitant to trade down that far because it would all but eliminate them from drafting either Kalil, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne or Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon – Spielman said they were all graded equally on the Vikings' draft board Tuesday.
But as that offer simmered without progress, the Vikings were also in talks with Tampa Bay to swap first-round picks and acquire a second-day pick, as well, according to the source. The Vikings were hoping to get Tampa Bay's second-round pick (No. 36 overall) as part of the deal and the Bucs were expected to target Alabama running back Trent Richardson with the third overall pick, jumping in front of Cleveland.
The Browns would then have their choice of Blackmon, Claiborne or Kalil, and it's possible the Vikings would still be left with their choice of Claiborne or Kalil with the fifth pick.
The Browns might also consider Buffalo's offer, allowing the Bills to take Kalil with the fourth pick if that trade were made. In that scenario, if everything fell as expected, the Vikings would have their choice of Claiborne or Blackmon.
Whether it's a predraft smokescreen or not, indications in the days leading up to the draft, and still on Thursday, were that the Vikings were targeting Claiborne.
"Mo Claiborne is maybe one of the most talented corners I've seen come out in a long time. He has very unique ball skills – he can play press and man," Spielman said. "I know just reading through the papers that we're a Cover-2 team. That's not the case. We play some Cover-3, we play a lot of Cover-1 with (new defensive coordinator) Alan Williams and Leslie (Frazier) coming in and maybe making some tweaks to the defense.
"How does this corner can have an impact on our defense as well? And you look at the quarterbacks we play, you look at the receivers that we're playing against in this division, to have a shutdown-type corner is also very intriguing."
Will any of the trade chatter come to fruition? At the time of this posting, there were just over three hours to make it happen or let it go.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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