Vikings poised to pick USC left tackle Matt Kalil; Vikings looking to sign troubled WR Jerome Simpson 25 Apr 12

Eden Prairie, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Vikings will listen to trade offers. They’ll consider every option. That’s what any NFL team does during the draft.

But when the Vikings are on the clock for the third overall pick on Thursday night, there will be a clear-cut, 6-foot-7, 306-pound choice staring this rebuilding franchise right in the face.

His name is Matt Kalil, widely considered the best available offensive lineman this year and widely expected to be selected by the Vikings. They need to better protect quarterback Christian Ponder, and what better way to do that then to take an elite left tackle with the potential to block Ponder’s blind side for the next decade?

The Vikings haven’t selected in the top three since 1968, when they drafted offensive tackle Ron Yary first overall.

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Vikings moving toward signing WR Jerome Simpson

Eden Prairie, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Vikings have taken steps toward adding free agent Jerome Simpson, the former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver with a felony drug conviction.

General Manager Rick Spielman confirmed Tuesday the interest in Simpson, who visited the team last week. Fox Sports first reported that Simpson has agreed to terms on a contract with the Vikings, but Spielman declined to acknowledge a deal.

Simpson was sentenced April 5 to 15 days in jail, three years of probation and 200 hours of community service plus a $7,500 fine and court costs.

Simpson pleaded guilty March 1 to a prohibited act relating to controlled substances, a felony. Authorities said they tracked a shipment of 2 1/2 pounds of marijuana to his Kentucky home in September and found another pound of the drug inside the house.