It figures that in a week when we finally got confirmation that Andrew Luck was going No. 1 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, pretty much everything besides that is now in doubt. Well, maybe not everything. It’s still guaranteed the Washington Redskins, after trading absolutely all they had plus the White House and Dan Snyder’s Hooters pass for their position in Thursday's shindig, will select Robert Griffin III. (Even though he has attitude problems now, apparently.)
Where it gets murky is at No. 3 – where the Minnesota Vikings are reportedly considering not drafting Matt Kalil as we all figured they would. According to multiple reports, the Vikings are now looking at Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon and Kalil. There is also some indication that they would be willing to (translation: would love to) trade down from the No. 3 pick, should the right offer come along.
As is typically the case in the days before this event takes place, it’s important to apply common sense and determine what’s real and what’s just standard, pre-draft misinformation.
Minnesota will absolutely, positively, not draft Blackmon with the No. 3 overall pick. While everyone in the top 10 can certainly use a boost at wide receiver, that’s not the team’s primary offensive concern at the moment. If the Vikings want to address the offense and provide Christian Ponder with some help, they’ll draft Kalil to keep his butt off the ground. Defensively, though, it would make a lot of sense for the Vikings to address their secondary woes. Claiborne’s ridiculous talent makes that prospect all the more appealing.
The uncertainty surrounding pick No. 3 has officially stolen the show from the uncertainty we had at pick No. 4. The Cleveland Browns were previously considering selecting Trent Richardson, Blackmon or Ryan Tannehill. All signs pointed to it more or less being a battle between Richardson and Blackmon at this point. If the Vikings were to select Blackmon, though, (they won’t) that would dramatically change Mike Holmgren and Co.’s plans. And what the Browns ultimately do with Blackmon, Richardson and Tannehill will play a serious role in what the St. Louis Rams and Miami Dolphins end up doing, obviously.
Beyond the top eight picks, there are a number of other interesting storylines to keep an eye on: Fletcher Cox’s stock has been rising for weeks, could he actually be a top 10 pick come Thursday? Conversely, following that amazing NFL Combine showing, some people envision Dontari Poe slipping. Could he fall out of the top 20? Will the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers address offense or defense? How many wide receivers go in the top 15? Who goes first out of the top-tier defensive ends – Quinton Coples or Melvin Ingram? Who goes first out of the three top non-Claiborne corners – Dre Kirkpatrick, Stephon Gilmore or Janoris Jenkins? What will the New England Patriots do with their second pick of the first round?
We attempt to answer all that and more in our complete breakdown of picks 1-32.
Note: Tune in on Tuesday to the Bottom Line Sports Show as they talk all things NFL and have one lucky NFL Draft prospect on to discuss what the future holds.