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If offer is ripe, Spielman says he'll trade No. 3 pick

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG and DAN WIEDERER
  • Star Tribune staff writers
  • April 25, 2012 - 6:34 AM

The Vikings' door is wide open. Trade talks are welcome.

General Manager Rick Spielman reiterated Tuesday that the Vikings are far from attached to their No. 3 overall pick in the NFL draft and more than willing to discuss trade offers from any and all interested teams.

Spielman said, however, it would take an offer "almost too good to be true" to finalize a trade before the draft begins.

"That front has really heated up over the last 24 hours," he said. "And I'm sure it will continue to heat up as we head for Thursday night."

Spielman again made it clear he's considering three players -- Matt Kalil, Morris Claiborne and Justin Blackmon -- at No. 3. But if an eye-opening trade offer surfaces that would enable the Vikings to gain additional picks both this year and for the future, Spielman will give it serious consideration with one important question.

"Can you still get an impact player by trading back?" Spielman said. "Looking at our draft board and the depth of this board, we still think there's a lot of good value in that first round if you go back X amount of spots and can still get an impact player."

Three in the mix

Spielman made a strong case for selecting each one of the three players he says the team is considering at third overall.

"There are no negatives on those three players," Spielman said, referring to Kalil, a Southern California left tackle; Claiborne, a Louisiana State cornerback; and Blackmon, an Oklahoma State receiver.

From both a talent standpoint and a need standpoint, Spielman likes all three.

"I can tell you those three picks have exactly the same grade and just leave it at that," he said.

On Blackmon: "Our philosophy is trying to get our young quarterback as many weapons around him as we can."

On Kalil: "How many times do you get a chance to get a blue-chip offensive tackle? You also have to look at [whether] these guys ever going to become available on the unrestricted free agent market."

On Claiborne: "You look at the quarterbacks we play and the receivers that we play in this division, to have a shutdown corner also is intriguing."

All hits, no errors

When asked realistically how many of his 10 draft picks he hoped to hit on this weekend, Spielman said all 10, noting also that nine of last year's 10 draft picks made the team.

In Rounds 1 and 2, Spielman hopes to land players who can be difference-making starters soon if not immediately.

In the middle rounds, the Vikings GM said, the hope is to land prospects who won't realistically make an immediate impact but can grow into heightened roles over the next two or three years.

And then in Rounds 6 and 7, the goal is to find special teams help and added depth with a hope of getting lucky with a player that one day might emerge as far better than anticipated.

Etc.

• Spielman said receiver Percy Harvin was scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery on Tuesday. Harvin, who had postponed the surgery because of a family emergency earlier this month, needed to have some bone spurs removed. He is expected to be ready in time for the start of organized team activities at the end of May.

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