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Updated: February 23rd, 2012 1:12pm
Vikings 'definitely open to moving' out of No. 3, Rick Spielman says

Vikings 'definitely open to moving' out of No. 3, Rick Spielman says

by Tom Pelissero
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INDIANAPOLIS -- It's a long shot the Minnesota Vikings will use their top draft pick on a quarterback for the second consecutive year.

But general manager Rick Spielman again refused to rule out any possibilities on Thursday, telling dozens of reporters gathered for his media conference at the NFL scouting combine the team will use two of its 60 formal interviews here on top quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

"I'm not excited about (having the No. 3 overall pick) -- that means you didn't have a very successful year," Spielman said. "But to take advantage of that No. 3 is going to be huge for the success of our organization moving forward.

"With the new CBA and the financial commitment to the top five picks not as significant as it has been in the past, I think there will be a lot of potential movement, especially in that top five, depending on where these quarterbacks fall, the top two quarterbacks in the draft and who's going to need quarterbacks. There could be a lot of activity that first day and especially those first three spots."

The Indianapolis Colts are roundly expected to use the No. 1 overall pick on Luck, the former Stanford star and one of the most pro-ready quarterbacks to come out in years.

Griffin had a huge junior season at Baylor that thrust him into position to be a top-three pick as well, meaning either St. Louis at No. 2 or the Vikings at No. 3 may get an offer they can't refuse from a quarterback-needy team.

"He had a great year this year," Spielman said of Griffin. "He has a strong arm. He's a very athletic quarterback. ... I think both those guys have everything you're looking for in a franchise quarterback."

There's virtually no chance the Rams would consider drafting a quarterback two years after using the first overall pick on Sam Bradford, making them a likely candidate to trade down.

If the Rams stand pat and take USC left tackle Matt Kalil, the Vikings would be in position to put their pick up for bid, barring an unlikely shift in thinking about last year's No. 12 pick, Christian Ponder, after only 10 starts.

"We're definitely open to moving," Spielman said. "We have a lot of confidence in Christian Ponder and what he's going to bring to our franchise. But we're also going to do our due diligence on Andew Luck and RGIII to make sure if we're in a scenario and they are sitting there at three, what are we going to do?"

Spielman makes no secret about his affinity for trading down and said he'll be looking to do so throughout the draft again, even though he expects the Vikings to enter with 10 picks after compensatory selections are handed out next month.

For a team coming off a 3-13 season, turning over the roster with younger players is a no-brainer. Spielman said repeatedly the influx of a record 65 underclassmen makes this a "very deep draft" all the way into the third and fourth rounds.

"In order for you to sustain a roster and a competitive roster year in and year out, you have to fill that roster with young draft picks," Spielman said. "Hopefully, you're hitting on most of those young draft picks. We had 10 last year - nine of the 10 did make our roster and contributed in some way last year.

"Hopefully, adding another 10 or more if we're able to move down and accumulate more picks will just continue to help our process as we go forward."

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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In this story: Christian Ponder