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Updated: April 22nd, 2010 11:59pm
Who's left? Cook, Mays, Washington and Clausen among names on board

Who's left? Cook, Mays, Washington and Clausen among names on board

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by Tom Pelissero
If you believe Rick Spielman, there are four names side by side, grade-for-grade atop the Minnesota Vikings' draft board as I write this.

The identity of those four candidates for the No. 34 overall pick the Vikings acquired from Detroit?

Spielman isn't saying -- he literally laughed out loud Thursday night when asked if Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was on the list -- and there's a long, speculative day ahead before we find out one of them.

We'll go ahead and get started on that now.

Five cornerbacks are off the board, but Virginia's Chris Cook still is available.

Southern California safety Taylor Mays long was projected as a first-round pick, but he's out there, too.

The Vikings could use some speed at linebacker, so TCU's Daryl Washington fits the bill.

And then there's Clausen, who went through the freefall many feared and no doubt went to bed Thursday night wondering if he or Texas' Colt McCoy will be the next quarterback with an NFL home.

I still doubt the Vikings will take a quarterback with their top pick, but who knows? They could deal down either further and accumulate enough picks that Spielman, coach Brad Childress and company feel comfortable they can address the future as well as the now.

Then again, if the Vikings were convinced Clausen could be the guy for the next decade, wouldn't they have pounced at No. 30? The way Spielman spoke on Thursday, it sure sounds like he expects his phone to ring all day with teams wanting to move up -- and more than a few teams at the top of Round 2 could use a quarterback.

There are other candidates, too. For one, the second tier of offensive tackles -- including USC's Charles Brown, Indiana's Rodger Saffold and Maryland's Bruce Campbell -- remains untouched, and the Vikings might be targeting left tackle Bryant McKinnie's long-term replacement.

I've mentioned Cook, Mays and Washington from the start, so there's little point backing off those choices now.

But if the four names -- whatever they are -- truly are equal in the Vikings' minds, the smart money says they just might deal down again before adding one of them to the roster.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero