One of the most connected NFL analysts in the business, Michael Lombardi of NFL Network, said approximately 10 days ago on a podcast with Bill Simmons (aka The Sports Guy) of ESPN that the Vikings will draft an offensive tackle at 3 overall in the upcoming draft. For those that want to listen the link is right here… just make sure you zoom ahead to 35 minutes. For those that don’t Lombardi said, “They’re not going to go back with Charlie Johnson at left tackle. They’ll pass on a receiver in order to get the left tackle. They can’t block anybody. Christian Ponder won’t survive if they don’t.” Lombardi also said that Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III would be the top two picks in the draft. On RG3 Lombardi said, “I can promise you he’ll be the 2nd pick in the draft. He may be the 1st pick in the draft. Now I can’t tell you who’s going to have that pick, but I can promise you that Luck and Griffin will go 1-2 in some combination. That I can tell you.” Simmons then joked on how every mock draft has Griffin going number 4 to the Browns and how folks should “tear those up” which Lombardi agreed with.
Whether the Vikings end up taking USC’s Matt Kalil or Iowa’s Riley Reiff when the Vikings turn their card in remains to be seen. Rest assured GM Rick Spielman and company will give both a hard look until then. In the meantime, hopefully this shelves any talk of the Vikings drafting Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon or LSU’s Morris Claiborne.
Another interesting thing to point out is when reviewing the free agent market courtesy of CBS Sports Pete Prisco (Dan also had an excellent post cherry picking a few names he’d like to have in purple) there is a total of 11 wide receivers on this list of 50 and only 2 left tackles (both of which have a history of injuries). Good guys that can protect the blindside are a necessity and tend to be locked up with big contracts.
If there’s any downside to this we have two more months of talking about drafting a left tackle. That’s not a sexy pick for most fans. Then again this is draft season, things will change 37 times over the next couple of months and free agent season has to play out first. In the meantime, back to snoozing through this Sunday night.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig