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Updated: April 29th, 2011 2:41am
Notebook: Spielman won't rule out move for 3rd-round pick on Friday

Notebook: Spielman won't rule out move for 3rd-round pick on Friday

by Tom Pelissero
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings couldn't find any takers for the 12th overall pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday.

That doesn't mean vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman has given up on adding a third-round choice on Friday.

"I don't know," Spielman said, smiling. "We'll see. We're pretty high in the second round."

As it stands, that second-round pick (No. 43 overall) is the Vikings' only selection on the draft's second day. Spielman has said for months he'd like to recoup the third-round pick the team wasted in an October trade for receiver Randy Moss, but their best chance to do that passed when they stood pat and drafted quarterback Christian Ponder at No. 12.

The Vikings also have seven picks on Saturday -- one in the fourth round and two each in Rounds 5 through 7 -- so creating a package to trade up might be an option, too.

Open competition

Refusing to name his first-round pick the starter immediately, coach Leslie Frazier said the quarterback job is up for grabs between Ponder, Joe Webb, Rhett Bomar -- and whatever veteran the Vikings still might bring in as a short-term solution.

"What happens with free agency, who knows?" Frazier said. "We'll eventually get to that point. But right now, it's a competition between those three, and we'll line up with the best guy when we get ready to line up (for the Sept. 11 opener) against the Chargers."

Spielman recently denied the Vikings have had conversations about acquiring Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb, who is expected to be traded or released. The selection of Ponder likely lowers the chances the Vikings would swing a deal for a high-profile veteran, but there remains a decent chance they'll find an insurance policy of some sort.

"I know we're going to keep all avenues open about still potentially bringing in a veteran when that happens," Spielman said. "I know Leslie has spoken previously about it's an open competition. Still very excited about Joe Webb, and Leslie and the coaching staff will make that determination."

Back in business?

Any talks about free-agent signings or trades remain on hold for now. The NFL on Thursday told teams to let players resume football activities beginning at 7 a.m. Friday, but clarification on the start of the 2011 league year remained on hold for at least another day.

"I've talked to a number of our players (Thursday) afternoon," Frazier said, "just making them aware of the fact that they can come over and work out and our coaches are talking with them as well, making them aware they can come over and work out (Friday) and then starting next week being able to, hopefully, be around the building."

Organized workouts are scheduled to begin on Monday -- unless a federal appeals court provides the league a stay of U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson's ruling that lifted the lockout this week. If the lockout remains lifted, the Vikings could have their regularly scheduled rookie minicamp next weekend.

"We'd like to begin to look towards minicamps and OTAs, and we're waiting on some word regarding that," Frazier said. "But right now, we are making plans to put in place some OTAs and minicamps."

True value?

Spielman declined to reveal where Ponder ranked among quarterbacks on the Vikings' draft board.

Asked if he was among the top 12 overall, Spielman said, "There could have been some guys up there that were slightly ahead, but we would not have taken them because of potential medical concerns or character concerns. So, when you eliminate those guys, yes, he became one of those (top 12) guys on our board."

Frazier likewise dodged a question about how many quarterbacks the Vikings would have been comfortable taking.

"We took the guy that I'm the most comfortable with," Frazier said. "That's the guy that I have confidence who is going to do a great job leading our football team, although he's a rookie and he'll be in competition for the starting job when we get ready to open against San Diego, I have confidence that we took the right guy."

Said Spielman, "We looked at every opportunity and felt that what we did by staying patient and going to get the guy that we really wanted was right. There was really no discussion. Christian Ponder was our guy."

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.
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