Most Unpredictable Draft Ever?

At an ordinary pre-draft press conference, all a coach would be asked about is his needs and wish list for a draft. But this is no ordinary draft, and the Vikings will see their draft hopes pinned on what looks to be the most unpredictable draft in recent memory.

It seems like every day there's a new revelation that has come out in the pre-draft build-up to tommorrow's opening round. Mike Williams is in -- and then out -- of the first round. Denver trades into a spot to get the first running back in the draft, so the Patriots swing a deal to get Corey Dillon and take themselves out of the running for RB. Eli Manning (or at least his dad) says if the Chargers take him with the first pick, he'll sit out the whole year.

What a strange trip it has been and continues to be, as the Vikings sit as spectators watching the carnage from a distance like rubber-neckers driving up on a multi-car highway accident. Trying to determine who will go and who will stay on the board has become much more difficult. A couple of examples:

* If San Diego trades out of the first spot with the Giants, who will they take at No. 4 -- the talk has been swirling that Marty Schottenheimer loves QB Phillip Rivers. Does that mean Ben Roethlisberger slips all the way to No. 11 and the Steelers?
* Both the Giants and Browns have made no bones about moving into the No. 2 spot to take OT Robert Gallery. If the Raiders trade out, their love for WR Roy Williams will be shown at either pick No. 4 or 7.
* Will the Redskins, who have just one pick in the first four rounds, stay at No. 5 or drop to accumulate picks?

These are just the tip of the iceberg of questions that will have the Vikings playing the waiting game. If there are a couple of teams to keep an eye on, our guess is the critical picks from the Vikings' perspective will be the Jaguars (locked in for now on Kenechi Udeze), the Jets (who could grab an elite linebacker or take a top cover corner, Buffalo (which would likely pass on Will Smith if one of the top three QBs was still available) and Tampa Bay, which needs help at linebacker but also would like to get involved in the run on wide receivers.

Nostradamus would have a tough time trying to figure out this draft, much less Mike Tice. It will be a waiting game that will likely have its share of surprises and, when all is said and done through the first 18 picks, Tice and Co. will be on the clock and not allowed to be a national laughing stock one more time.

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