It's become a matter of assumed fact that the St. Louis Rams can trade their second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to a team looking to move up and take Baylor QB Robert Griffin III. Picking immediately after the Rams, the Minnesota Vikings are in a similar situation. They have a first-round pick, Christian Ponder, drafted last year to be their franchise cornerstone. Their third pick could just as easily be had, undercutting the Rams for a quarterback-needy team.
The Vikings made it known yesterday that their third pick can be had by the highest bidder. "We're the third overall pick, so we'll be looking at all the options," Rick Spielman, the Vikings' GM, said. "If someone wants to come up and get our pick, we're going to be more than willing to listen."
Teams that do want to move up for RG3 - the Redskins have already been identified in recent rumors - could hold out until the clock gets to Minnesota. That's a risky move, since there could be another team willing to make the deal for the second pick.
However, a new rookie wage scale takes away the barriers to move up in the draft, and picking between two and three doesn't offer much difference in terms of the trade asking price or the player contract. The second pick last year, Denver LB Von Miller, signed a four-year, $21 million deal. Last year's third pick, Bills DT Marcell Dareus, signed a four-year, $20.4 million deal. Six hundred thousand dollars is a small price to pay for a team willing to bet that they're drafting a franchise cornerstone.
The odds would certainly still favor the Rams' second pick as the preferred destination, but there will definitely be some intrigue between now and until the clock starts ticking on the Rams' pick.
Something else to factor in here is the possibility of the Vikings and the Rams both trading their picks. A team could target the Vikings third pick with an eye on Matt Kalil or Justin Blackmon. If Blackmon was off the board when/if the Rams traded down to Cleveland's fourth spot or Washington's sixth, that could effect their draft board.