Monday, March 28, 2011

Source: Minnesota Vikings Eyeing Jake Locker and Christian Ponder

We are now exactly one month away from the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. As teams continue to do their due diligence on every available player, speculation as to where those players will land is starting to ramp up.

One of the hottest rumors going right now is Missouri's Blaine Gabbert will be a top five draft pick. He's done everything right leading up to the draft and appears headed to either Buffalo at #3, Cincinnati at #4 or Arizona at #5. This is significant because the Minnesota Vikings (a team I know very well) have shown significant interest in Gabbert. Gabbert recently dined with Vikings V.P. of Player Personal Rick Spielman and head coach Leslie Frazier. Also, Spielman flew down to Missouri to watch Gabbert - in person - multiple times last season. With news of Gabbert's pre-draft rise, the Vikings, who hold the #12 overall pick, are now in the process of changing their draft strategy.

Speculation: if Gabbert makes it to the Cleveland Browns at #6 the Vikings may make a move to trade up. This is a complete guess on my part, but considering how much interest they've shown in Gabbert, it's a safe bet discussions will be had.

Reality: Gabbert will likely be gone by #6 and the Vikings will be forced to consider another option at quarterback, which I'm told they're doing now. According to a person I consider to be a reliable source, the Vikings will look to trade back in the first round and draft in the early 20s. The Vikings are eager to pick-up more later round picks to make up for their lack of a third-round pick, which was dealt to New England in the Randy Moss deal.

According to the source, the Vikings would like to move back and take either Washington's Jake Locker or Florida State's Christian Ponder. Both are considered late first- or early second-round picks. My guess is both players will be first-round picks and once one is off the board, the other will go quickly thereafter.

The Vikings have already brought Locker in for a private workout, while Ponder is not yet scheduled to visit Minnesota.

If the Vikings can't find a first-round trade partner, look for them to take offensive tackle Tyron Smith from Southern Cal.


  1. Well... at least they got some solid production out of Moss.

  2. Every time I mention that trade I get that response from you. Trivia time: who caught Brett Favre's 500th career touchdown?