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2012 NFL Draft: Why Minnesota Vikings Must Draft Justin Blackmon with 3rd Pick

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 02:  Justin Blackmon #81 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys catches a 67-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Stanford Cardinal during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Nicolas ManzanaresContributor IFebruary 7, 2012

Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State has had a sensational college career.

Almost unanimously evaluated as the No. 1 receiver in the 2012 draft class, Blackmon is the deep threat the Minnesota Vikings need and the player that could allow Percy Harvin to return to his rightful position in the slot.

Under normal circumstances, a team should be built from the inside out—just look at the Philadelphia Eagles, who were loaded with top-notch skill position players, but were limited due to poor play at the line positions. This situation is different because the Vikings are not going to be a Super Bowl contender next year and need a deep threat desperately.

Also, another receiver of Blackmon's quality may not be available for some time. He is a durable player with solid work ethic, and the Vikings cannot miss the opportunity to draft him. It is clear to most analysts that the Vikings will not be taking home the Lombardi Trophy next year, but Blackmon could be a crucial piece of the puzzle and will be a valuable asset over the next few years.

Remember how the Green Bay Packers were able to put such a dominant team together? It took years of drafting stars, and the Vikings need to find a way to build up their confidence now. Blackmon may be just the player to do that because the Vikings don't need to win the Super Bowl next year, they need to prove to themselves and to everyone else that they can put up lots of point—and at least try to win some shootouts.

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