Lombardi: Rams, Vikes face big draft decisions

The Colts remain in the driver’s seat for the top overall pick in the 2012 draft, but their grip on No. 1 is slippery, at best, now that they’ve won back-to-back games to tie the Rams and Vikings at two in the win column.

And if the Colts pull out another victory in their season finale, it’s a very real possibility that St. Louis or Minnesota could end up picking first in April — as strange as that might have seemed a month ago.

The possibility of a team other than the Colts ending up with the top pick had NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi talking draft on Saturday’s “NFL GameDay Morning” and whether or not the Rams or the Vikings could take a quarterback despite the presence of Sam Bradford and Christian Ponder, respectively.

“If the Rams get it, it’s an easy decision,” Lombardi said. “They hold out and basically trade down to where they think they can still get a blue-chip player and sell the pick for a lot more draft picks — the Rams need a lot of help.”

The Vikings’ case with Ponder isn’t as clear, according to Lombardi.

“If the Vikings get the first pick, to me that’s an interesting dilemma because, is Christian Ponder that much better than whomever they select in the first round overall in the draft?” Lombardi asked. “They need to address that. The worst decision you can make as a front-office executive is to bring your depth chart into the draft room. You think you have a quarterback because you drafted one last year, so you pass on one.”

Ponder, at times, has looked like a franchise quarterback this season, throwing 13 touchdowns to 12 interceptions in nine games. However, Lombardi said one the Vikings’ biggest tasks this offseason will be to evaluate what they have in their young QB.

“The biggest mistake in drafting was made by the Portland Trailblazers when they had Clyde Drexler, and they passed on Michael Jordan,” Lombardi said. “I think the Vikings are the ones that really need to study this completely.”

(Our apologies for bringing up that old wound, Rip City).

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