NFC North draft targets in New York City
April, 13, 2012
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
My NFC South colleague Pat Yasinskas has posted the list of all 26 players who have confirmed plans to attend the NFL draft April 26-28. It includes most every imaginable pick the Minnesota Vikings could make if they stay at No. 3 and a number of possibilities if they move down.
USC left tackle Matt Kalil, Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon and LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne will all be in attendance. So will a number of receivers we have discussed in connection with the Chicago Bears, from Notre Dame's Michael Floyd to Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill to Baylor's Kendall Wright and LSU's Rueben Randle. North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples, who would be a pretty good value pick at the Bears' No 19 pick if he falls that far, will also be in New York.
ESPN analyst Todd McShay used his most recent mock draft to steer South Carolina cornerback Stephen Gilmore to the Bears, but many Detroit Lions fans are hoping he is still available at No. 23 overall. Gilmore will be in New York as well. (Here is a clip of Gilmore's recent appearance on "NFL Live.")
Barring a trade, my feeling remains that the Vikings will and should pick Kalil. In the NFL32 overtime video above, ESPN's Chris Mortensen said the Kalil pick is widely assumed in league circles and that if the Vikings look elsewhere, "we won't be talking nicely about them."