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Old 03-20-2012, 08:56 AM    (permalink
H.O.O.D
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Default Vikes to Take Claiborne at #3?

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Vikings GM Rick Spielman appears to like Mo Claborne over Matt Kalil

LEADING OFF

Last time I ran into Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, he quizzed me. He asked if I knew the starting left tackles for the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants. I shrugged. He wanted to make the point that a left tackle doesn't have to be an all-pro or even well known for a team to be successful.

Here's the flaw in his thinking: The quarterbacks for the Packers and Giants are either all-pro (Aaron Rodgers) or all-pro caliber (Eli Manning). Teams with elite quarterbacks don't need an all-pro at left tackle. Teams with an inexperienced quarterback, like the Vikings, have a much better chance of success when surrounded by all-pro level players, particularly at left tackle.

The discussion came about because Spielman didn't seem to agree with a column I wrote saying he might be in need of a CAT scan if he passes up Southern California left tackle Matt Kalil with the third overall pick in the NFL draft.

It could just be a smokescreen that Spielman isn't gushing about the prospect of drafting a potential all-pro who could be a fixture at left tackle for the next decade. Then again, why a smokescreen is needed when the first two picks already are decided is baffling.

After listening to the Spielman spiel, this much appears certain: If he keeps the third pick and passes on Kalil, Spielman will draft LSU cornerback Mo Claiborne. He raved more about Claiborne than Kalil.

With each passing day, the argument builds that Spielman prefers Claiborne

over Kalil. For one thing, the Vikings haven't pursued a cornerback in free agency. For another, they have expressed interest in offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, who is nothing special and missed all of last season after hip surgery. Presumably, he fits the type of lineman Spielman thinks you can win with in the NFL.
http://www.twincities.com/vikings/ci...rne?source=rss



Spielman does have a point, there are teams who do not have elite QB's and do not have an all pro LT (San Fran has Staley, Buffalo had Bell, Detroit has Backus etc) however the Vikes QB's were sacked 49 times last year and only 4 teams surrendered more sacks. If they pass on Kalil, then he must get a LT at some point, one who could start from day 1 you would think....

If Claiborne does go number 3 this could shake up the top 10 a little or perhaps give Cleveland an opportunity to move down a few spots at the least as one has to think St.Louis may have some interest in moving back up...

Personally I think they should solidify the position and draft the guy who appears to be a franchise LT first and foremost (Kalil). Put the pieces around Ponder to give him his best chance for success.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:00 AM    (permalink
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IMO, this is a smokescreen in an attempt to get someone to trade up for Claiborne. I don't think it is worth the risk dropping back at all, as you said its possible Cleveland then trades back with a team like St. Louis looking to draft Kalil. Minnesota needs a new LT, and Kalil appears to have everything needed to be a starter from day 1, and a good one at that.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:01 AM    (permalink
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:40 AM    (permalink
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:04 AM    (permalink
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God, i hope that it is only a smoke screen. You never really know with the Vikings, though.....

It has me slightly concerned.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:06 AM    (permalink
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it is possible... I don't know if it's likely but it is certainly possible. if this did happen the Rams could get Kalil at 6 (!)
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:13 AM    (permalink
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This has to be smokescreen to try and inflate the value of the #3 pick. The Vikings are a team with a lot of holes. Teams like the Bucs/Rams could also use a DB and trying to get them into a bidding war and attempt to get an extra draft pick.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:18 AM    (permalink
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This has to be smokescreen to try and inflate the value of the #3 pick. The Vikings are a team with a lot of holes. Teams like the Bucs/Rams could also use a DB and trying to get them into a bidding war and attempt to get an extra draft pick.
I'd think the Rams would be more than pleased if Minnesota took Claiborne. They could use him yes, but they also could use Justin Blackmon and Matt Kalil. I don't think they will get the Rams to bite on the idea moving up for Claiborne.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:15 AM    (permalink
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it is possible... I don't know if it's likely but it is certainly possible. if this did happen the Rams could get Kalil at 6 (!)
One has to wonder if Carolina, Buffalo or Arizona would be interested in trading up to leapfrog the Rams ?

It could very well be a smokescreen but then again one never truly knows, stranger things have happened. And this is the same guy who took Ponder at 12 last year.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:11 AM    (permalink
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they have to take kalil, no way around it.

they can get jenkins or minnifield or someone at the top of the second
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:18 AM    (permalink
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No, I actually agree with this. Sure, maybe it is a smokescreen, but I remember making the point a few months ago that the left tackle position had become massively overvalued and that sinking $40M guaranteed into that one position was a waste. DCs move pass rushers around to find the best matchup, you can't have a blue chip LT and a crap line everywhere else.

The last 10 SB winners:

Giants
Packers
Saints
Steelers
Giants
Colts
Steelers
Pats
Pats
Bucs

Of those teams the most notable LT is Matt Light. The last team to win the SB with an All-Pro level LT is the Ravens. But even then, that team won with defense and running the ball.

I'm not saying I'd take Claiborne over Kalil, all else being equal. I'm not sure I would. But if I thought CB was the bigger need I would definitely consider it. I think the importance of LT has been a mantra we've parroted back and forth at each other for so long we've forgotten to really assess how true it is.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:28 AM    (permalink
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No, I actually agree with this. Sure, maybe it is a smokescreen, but I remember making the point a few months ago that the left tackle position had become massively overvalued and that sinking $40M guaranteed into that one position was a waste. DCs move pass rushers around to find the best matchup, you can't have a blue chip LT and a crap line everywhere else.

The last 10 SB winners:

Giants
Packers
Saints
Steelers
Giants
Colts
Steelers
Pats
Pats
Bucs

Of those teams the most notable LT is Matt Light. The last team to win the SB with an All-Pro level LT is the Ravens. But even then, that team won with defense and running the ball.

I'm not saying I'd take Claiborne over Kalil, all else being equal. I'm not sure I would. But if I thought CB was the bigger need I would definitely consider it. I think the importance of LT has been a mantra we've parroted back and forth at each other for so long we've forgotten to really assess how true it is.
All of those teams LT's were playing better than Charlie Johnson did last year. It's not going to cost them $40m guaranteed for Kalil either. I accept that CB is a huge need, and that all those teams won the SB w/o a top 5 LT... but Claiborne does not appear to be Deion Sanders or Darrelle Revis. I think Kalil is BPA at a position of value and equal need.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:30 AM    (permalink
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All of those teams LT's were playing better than Charlie Johnson did last year. It's not going to cost them $40m guaranteed for Kalil either. I accept that CB is a huge need, and that all those teams won the SB w/o a top 5 LT... but Claiborne does not appear to be Deion Sanders or Darrelle Revis. I think Kalil is BPA at a position of value and equal need.
The Charlie Johnson contract was pretty awful. I still can't believe the Vikings paid him so much. He's a swing tackle.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:35 AM    (permalink
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The Charlie Johnson contract was pretty awful. I still can't believe the Vikings paid him so much. He's a swing tackle.
At least he should (if they are smart and draft Kalil) get kicked inside and won't be AS BIG of a liability. I didn't like the signing when they made it, should have just been a one year deal. They were relying on Mckinnie to play last year, but he showed up at camp weighing 380 or so and they cut him with no one else capable of playing LT, panicked and overpaid Johnson.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:47 PM    (permalink
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All of those teams LT's were playing better than Charlie Johnson did last year. It's not going to cost them $40m guaranteed for Kalil either. I accept that CB is a huge need, and that all those teams won the SB w/o a top 5 LT... but Claiborne does not appear to be Deion Sanders or Darrelle Revis. I think Kalil is BPA at a position of value and equal need.
Nobody has been Deion Sanders at CB since Deion, so that point is irrelevant. It's fun to try and peg a CB like Revis now but if anyone that year felt he would be this good he wouldn't have been there at pick 14 to begin with. People felt he would be a really good CB, same as Claiborne. He wasn't a slam dunk, can't miss revolutionary prospect who people felt would be a lock down CB but you don't have to be to end up elite.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:41 PM    (permalink
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Nobody has been Deion Sanders at CB since Deion, so that point is irrelevant. It's fun to try and peg a CB like Revis now but if anyone that year felt he would be this good he wouldn't have been there at pick 14 to begin with. People felt he would be a really good CB, same as Claiborne. He wasn't a slam dunk, can't miss revolutionary prospect who people felt would be a lock down CB but you don't have to be to end up elite.
I was only commenting on how Claiborne does not appear to be a slam dunk shut down corner, then gave two examples of guys who were/are shut down corners. If Claiborne appeared to be on the level of those 2, he would be BPA, but he's not. I was saying Kalil is the BPA at 3 for the Vikings. I don't see how anything was irrelevant.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:07 AM    (permalink
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The last 10 SB winners:

Giants
Packers
Saints
Steelers
Giants
Colts
Steelers
Pats
Pats
Bucs
how many of those teams had shut down #1 CB? the Packers maybe? Saints had a few good ones, none as good as Claiborne. the logic cuts both ways. in some sense the only position that matters is QB.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:59 AM    (permalink
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how many of those teams had shut down #1 CB? the Packers maybe? Saints had a few good ones, none as good as Claiborne. the logic cuts both ways. in some sense the only position that matters is QB.
I wasn't trying to prove the worth of the CB position. I am saying a top 5 LT is not required to win a SB and is overrated.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:06 PM    (permalink
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how many of those teams had shut down #1 CB? the Packers maybe? Saints had a few good ones, none as good as Claiborne. the logic cuts both ways. in some sense the only position that matters is QB.
Corey Webster, but I see your point
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BTW, if it's 3rd and 97... I'm throwing a screen pass to Brian Leonard and he will convert.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:31 AM    (permalink
Sloopy
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how many of those teams had shut down #1 CB? the Packers maybe? Saints had a few good ones, none as good as Claiborne. the logic cuts both ways. in some sense the only position that matters is QB.
Uh? The Saints didn't really have much going on at CB:

However:

2007 Pats - Asanta Samuel (Not a SB winner but it's worth noting during a perfect regular season)

2004 Pats - Asante Samuel and Ty Law

2003 Pats - Asante Samuel and Ty Law

2002 Bucs - Ronde Barber

Also, the two Steelers SB teams and the Packers SB team had excellent safety help.

This is a passing league and DBs of any position are quite valuable.

I will also point out that the Pats, arguably the best dynasty of this era, won all 3 of their SBs with excellent CBs.

I won't try to argue that the CB position is a predictor of SBs but I just figured I would throw in my two cents about those teams not having #1 type corners.

However, I WILL say that defense has been a great predictor of SBs and definitely more so than LTs.

All but the Colts and Saints and the most recent Giants win, heavily relied on their defense and even the Colts Giants and Saints D had to step up in the playoffs to make it possible.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:38 AM    (permalink
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Uh? The Saints didn't really have much going on at CB:
And, Jabari Greer continues to be one of the most underrated CBs in the league.

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Doesn't Spielman make it known who he's drafting every single year? I can always call their pick before it's made, because there are always reports that they want the guy ahead of time. Called Ponder, Chris Cook and Percy Harvin.
I'm pretty sure the Vikings really wanted Patrick Robinson over Chris Cook in the draft and were really shocked when the Saints selected him with the last pick of the first round.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:41 PM    (permalink
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The teams picking #3, #4, #5, and #6 are all wearing their poker faces right now.

Those picks stand to be: Kalil, Claiborne, Richardson and Blackmon.

If any team wants Kalil or Claiborne it looks like they have to trade up with the Vikings. They are probably safe waiting on the other two players for at least one pick.

I don't see any smokescreen.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:58 PM    (permalink
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I'm pretty sure the Vikings really wanted Patrick Robinson over Chris Cook in the draft and were really shocked when the Saints selected him with the last pick of the first round.
Yep, Chirs Cook was actually their 3rd choice that year. They were reportedly on the Phone with Kyle Wilson when the Jets selected him. Then they thought they could trade down a few spots and would still get Patrick Robinson.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:24 AM    (permalink
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If you were trying to drive up the value of the pick why would you pretend to want the lower-rated player?
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:35 AM    (permalink
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What does the Vikes BB look like as of now (Top 5 BB)?
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