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NFL Minnesota Vikings

Vikings Draft OT Matt Kalil and FS Harrison Smith; Need a Wide Receiver on Day Two

The Minnesota Vikings traded the 3rd pick in the NFL Draft Thursday night, gaining three more picks from the Cleveland Browns. Once I heard this news, I immediately hoped Rick Spielman would work some magic and get 2 picks in the first round.

The Vikings did just that, selecting OT Matt Kalil at No. 4 and FS Harrison Smith at No. 29.

Both picks fill position needs on the team. Minnesota had to get protection for Christian Ponder, and their secondary desperately needed improvement.

Kalil and Harrison are two very solid picks. When the Vikings decided to pass on secondary help with Morris Claiborne, they did the next best thing, by getting the best offensive lineman, and the second best safety in the Draft.

For those unfamiliar with Smith, he’s a 6’2, 213 lb, free safety out of Notre Dame. He runs a 4.57 ’40′ yard dash, and has a 34 inch vertical leap. Smith is a guy who fits well with the Vikings ‘Tampa 2′ zone defensive scheme.

NFL.com’s scouting report indicated that Smith is smart, a good run defender, who is always around the ball; but that he struggles from time to time in man coverage.

So with the team’s needs addressed on the offensive line and in the secondary, the Vikings must get the best receiver they can on day two.  The two best receivers still available are Stephen Hill and  Alshon Jeffery. At this point, the Vikings won’t pick again until No. 66, a spot where both players are unlikely to be available.

If the Vikings want any shot at either one of these guys, Spielman will have to strike another deal to move up again. It sure seems like the Vikings are poised to make one more jump up the draft board, with 10 total picks remaining. If they want to truly make a splash with their draft class, they need to land Hill or Jeffery on Friday.

Follow Andrew Fisher on Twitter @the_realfish