Do Vikings really prefer Morris Claiborne to Matt Kalil?

Way before it became a slam dunk that Robert Griffin III would be selected with the second pick in the NFL draft, Rick Spielman put up for the “For Sale” sign for the No. 3 pick.

The Minnesota Vikings general manager made it known he’d be interested in talking trade for his team’s pick, no doubt hoping it could drum up some interest from teams taking a look at Griffin. Well, that’s not going to happen. The Washington Redskins already paid a steep price to get the second overall pick from the St. Louis Rams, and they will use it on Griffin.

So, that leaves the Vikings with the first pick of the draft for any player not named Griffin or Andrew Luck. And apparently Spielman is keeping his options open while also making sure teams known that pick is still in play.

According to Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Spielman has dropped hints the Vikings could select LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne with the pick. Conventional thinking has been Minnesota will choose the best left tackle in the draft, USC’s Matt Kalil.

Per Sansevere, Spielman has “raved more” about Claiborne than Kalil. At this point, that doesn’t mean much of anything. The Vikings are going to get a terrific player if they remain in the spot. Who knows? Maybe a club that desperately wants Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon will offer a blockbuster deal. You can’t rule it out.

But for now, Kalil looks like a safe pick for an organization in need of some young linemen and a building block for the future. Claiborne sounds a lot like a GM wanting teams to know his pick is potentially available.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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