Feb 25, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys defensive back Justin Gilbert runs the shuttle run during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Todd McShay Mock Draft: Vikings Select Justin Gilbert

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Todd McShay has come out with his third mock draft, and his pick for the Vikings is an intriguing one.

Bucking the trend of sending a quarterback or linebacker to Minnesota with the #8 overall, McShay has them taking cornerback Justin Gilbert.

Here is McShay’s take (link behind ESPN Insider paywall):

Analysis: If I were to rank the two or three likeliest teams to trade out of their first-round pick, the Vikings would be right in the mix. I could see them trying to aggressively move up if one of the top QBs (say, Johnny Manziel) dropped to No. 5, and I could see them moving back if there isn’t a QB available at No. 8 in an attempt to grab more picks and take a lower-rated quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo later. But if they stay put, I think the Vikings take the best player available, either offensive tackle Jake Matthews or cornerback Justin Gilbert out of Oklahoma State. I’ll go with Gilbert, the top corner prospect on our board who has excellent speed, size and playmaking ability.

I stand by my assertion that, when a draft is this loaded, you have two options: make a big trade or take the best player available regardless of need.

Even if the best player available is an offensive tackle? Yes. Why not? Tackles have been converted into guards before. Maybe Matt Kalil plays left guard and Jake Matthews moves in at left tackle.

The trade scenario to me makes the most sense. With the top of the draft so loaded, this is the year to make a Julio Jones-type deal with some team that thinks it’s one piece away and is willing to give up multiple picks to get their guy.

Rick Spielman should, and will, be working the phones before and during the draft. But even if he can’t swing the trade, grabbing the draft’s most athletic corner or a stud offensive lineman who last year might have been the #1 overall selection…those are not bad alternatives.

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