I - along with many others when making my mock drafts - am simply working under the presumption that Matt Kalil will be picked by the Vikings 3rd overall. I still think that Matt Kalil will be the third overall pick and become the cornerstone piece on the Vikings line, but there is a real possibility that the Vikings go in a different direction. Lately, there have been some signs pointing to the Vikings possibly moving in another direction.
There were rumors that the Vikings like Morris Claiborne over Matt Kalil. Also, Adam Schefter thinks Minnesota will choose Justin Blackmon.
The Rams' draft will be dramatically impacted if Matt Kalil isn't the choice at number three. There are many scenarios that could occur in this situation and today I wanted to explore some of those. Basically it comes down to this: There are 5 possible outcomes I can see for the Rams. They can pick one of four prospects Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne and Trent Richardson, or they could trade down. After the jump, I will present all of the possible outcomes if Matt Kalil doesn't become a Viking.
Scenario 1: Vikings select Morris Claiborne.
The Vikings taking Morris Claiborne would have a pretty large impact on the Rams. The Browns won't be affected much; they would still take either Blackmon or Richardson. Tampa Bay on the other hand will have to change their strategy quite a bit. Tampa would likely take Trent Richardson if the Browns don't select him. This would leave the Rams with Matt Kalil. What could happen in this situation , and is more likely in my opinion, is Tampa Bay trading down to a team that wants Kalil. This leaves the Rams with either Justin Blackmon or Trent Richardson, which is how things currently stand.
Scenario 2: Vikings select Morris Claiborne and Browns hold a fire sale for Matt Kalil.
The Browns would have a lot of leverage to trade down if Matt Kalil is still on the board. The Browns have many needs, and a trade down for a player like Kalil could be quite rewarding. This scenario leaves the Rams with Justin Blackmon as the Buccaneers would probably take Trent Richardson.
Scenario 3: Vikings select Morris Claiborne and Browns choose Ryan Tannehill.
In this case, the Rams would have a choice between Matt Kalil and Justin Blackmon. In my opinion, the Buccaneers would try and trade down to a team wanting Kalil. The Rams would have to choose between Richardson and Blackmon.
Scenario 4: Vikings select Justin Blackmon
The Viking selecting Blackmon could lead to the Browns choosing Trent Richardson. This would then leave the Bucs with Morris Claiborne, the player most Mocked to them, or they could again trade down to a team that wants Kalil. If the Bucs trade down in this sceanrio, the Rams would be left with either Morris Claiborne or possibly trading down with a team desperate for QB help that wants Ryan Tannehill. Lots of possibilities here.
Scenario 5: Vikings select Justin Blackmon and Browns hold a fire sale for Matt Kalil.
The outcomes of this situation are identical for the Rams as scenario 2. You just have to switch Justin Blackmon with Trent Richardson, but I can still see Tampa picking Richardson over Claiborne, which would then leave the Rams the talented LSU corner.
Scenario 6: Vikings select Justin Blackmon and Browns choose Ryan Tannehill.
This would lead to two possible outcomes. One is Tampa simply chooses to stick at 5 and take Trent Richardson or Morris Claiborne, leaving Matt Kalil to the Rams. The other is Tampa trading down and the Rams having to choose between Claiborne or Richardson.
Scenario 7: Vikings trade down with Dolphins and they pick Ryan Tannehill.
The Dolphins need a QB and so do the Browns. If Miami likes Tannehill enough, and they believe the Browns wil take him, the Vikings could receive a very nice package from the Dolphins. This leaves Kalil, Claiborne and Blackmon all on the board. Cleveland and Tampa really don't need Kalil - and both could trade down - which would leaves the Rams with either Blackmon or Richardson.
Scenario 8: Vikings trade down with a team who selects Matt Kalil
The Vikings have many needs. Kalil can fill a big need for them, but trading down could be a very good move. Kalil is one of the best LT prospects in a while and many teams would be interested in trading up for him. This doesn't change the Rams draft very much. Just like it is now, they would likely choose whoever is left between Blackmon, Richardson and Claiborne.
The main thing to take out of all of this, is the Rams are very unlikely to acquire Matt Kalil, even if the Vikings do not choose him at 3. Kalil is a great prospect, and both the Browns and the Buccaneers would certainly be interested in a trade down.