Thursday, March 29, 2012

Matt Kalil: A Top 2012 NFL Draft Prospect

University of Southern California left tackle Matt Kalil is one of the top draft prospects for 2012. Some believe he will be picked number three after this year's big two quarterbacks--Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

The offensive tackle position has become a premium post in the NFL because it requires quick moves and intense blocking skills for today's complex offenses. Often the left tackle must face the defensive end--who is often a pass rush specialist. If the offensive tackle cannot hold off the outside pass rush, the quarterback does not have enough time to get the ball down field and passing plays cannot develop. It's common for a top left offensive tackle to be selected in one of the top five spots in the draft.

The Minnesota Vikings have the No. 3 overall pick and many believe they will spend it on Kalil. Kalil is 6'7" and 303 lbs and has great genes. His brother Ryan has proven his worth as offensive center on the Carolina Panthers in five seasons of play. Ryan signed the biggest contract ever to an NFL center. Matt and Ryan's father Frank played in the USFL--so the bloodline is plenty strong.

If for some reason, either Luck or Griffin are available when the Vikings pick, they may change direction and pick a quarterback. It seems unlikely this will happen and it's not likely the Vikings would trade up for a better pick--they have a young and talented quarterback Christian Ponder in the house already.

Because the required movement and very difficult blocking assignments of the left tackle injuries are becoming more common for players in this position. Barring such injuries, Matt Kalil looks like a good choice very early in the draft who can help the Vikings.


Team order for the first round:

1. Indianapolis Colts

2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis Rams)

3. Minnesota Vikings

4. Cleveland Browns

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

8. Miami Dolphins

9. Carolina Panthers

10. Buffalo Bills

11. Kansas City Chiefs

12. Seattle Seahawks

13. Arizona Cardinals

14. Dallas Cowboys

15. Philadelphia Eagles

16. New York Jets

17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland Raiders)

18. San Diego Chargers

19. Chicago Bears

20. Tennessee Titans

21. Cincinnati Bengals

22. Cleveland Browns (from Atlanta Falcons)

23. Detroit Lions

24. Pittsburgh Steelers

25. Denver Broncos

26. Houston Texans

27. New England Patriots (from New Orleans Saints)

28. Green Bay Packers

29. Baltimore Ravens

30. San Francisco 49ers

31. New England Patriots

32. New York Giants
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Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Patrick McCaskey's Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout and other fine sports books. Sports and Faith: Stories of the Devoted and the Devout is a personal chronicle of Chicago Bears Senior Director Patrick McCaskey that looks back at decades of spiritual enrichment and life lessons from athletes, coaches, religious and everyday people. McCaskey recalls the stories of those who strived to make the cut on and off the field—plus people who left comfortable lives to serve the under-served in extraordinary ways.