Drafting Kalil: A tough call to tackle

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 25, 2012 - 11:28 AM

USC's Matt Kalil just might be the best fit for the Vikings at No. 3 overall. But history shows that drafting an elite offensive tackle early doesn't guarantee a turnaround.

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twinsfanwy1Apr. 22, 1210:55 AM

The last "can't miss" prospect at LT was Joe Thomas from Wisconsin. As this article correctly states, Thomas has lived up to the high expectations in spades. The projection for Matt Kalil is that he may be better than Joe Thomas. Some NFL insiders have labeled Kalil as the safest, can't miss prospect in the draft. With that said, and the fact that Ponder had virtually no time in the pocket last year, drafting Kalil IS a no-brainer. If the Vikings want to get the best out of Christian Ponder they need to shore up the O-Line. And Kalil has the athleticism, the technique and the footspeed to protect Ponder's back. Another reason to draft Kalil is the Vikings still have the best RB in the league in AD. Vikings fans love watching AD crash through defensive fronts and scamper into daylight. Kalil has the ability and the nastiness to provide that all-important block that paves the way for AD. Don't think too much here Vikings. Draft Kalil. You'll be happy you did for the next 10-12 years.

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jodidanApr. 22, 1211:05 AM

Wiederer is asking us to buy into a misleading argument. It's true that drafting a blue chip tackle is not a guarantee of a turn around, but the same is true of a player at any position. Even a franchise quarterback, which is clearly the most important position, won't be successful without talent surrounding him. Hall of Famers such as Dan Marino and John Elway were on some bad teams when they didn't have a good supporting cast. The real key to winning is to have special players. That is why successful teams tend to draft the best available player.

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paulTandbergApr. 22, 1211:28 AM

Drafting an elite tackle doesn't guarantee a turnaround. Drafting an elite receiver doesn't guarantee a turnaround. Neither does drafting an elite running back, cornerback, quarterback, defensive end, tackle or anything else. Cleveland has been drafting elite players at all positions for the last twenty years, thirty years, longer. The Saints drafted an elite quarterback, Archie Manning, and a great talent was squandered on a horse crap team. How many elite wide receivers did Detroit draft before they finally got one that mattered? Three? Four? How many elite everythings did Detroit draft during its twenty years of gasping in the bottom of the NFL swamp? How many elites has Seattle drafted? Kansas City? Oakland? Bad teams are filled with elite draft picks in all positions. Why isolate the left tackle position and call it out as if there was something to say? Teams win, not elite draft picks. So, build a team. And building a solid offensive line is a good way to get started. As is trading a high pick for a barrelfull of good picks. But if you can't pick someone's pocket (like St. Louis did), get the best player you can get in an area of need. In this draft, that's Kalli.

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tflinnApr. 22, 1211:28 AM

jodidan: Exactly, made the same argument in a different article spouting the same nonsense. Picking an elite LT has no cause and effect when you surround them with poor front office decisions. You still have to draft well and make good FA decisions to build a team.

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VirginiaVikeApr. 22, 1211:35 AM

Just a few names to consider, Ron Yary, taken No. 1 overall out of USC in 1968, Hall of Famer, and Bryant McKinnie, taken No. 7 in 2002, until he had issues. Of course Yary was part of 4 Super Bowl appearances, and McKinnie enjoyed playoff appearances in 2004, 2008, 2009. And, as twinsfanwy1 pointed out, you could argue this for any position. I would rather hedge my bets on a LT than a WR or CB. I am not sure that Blackmon is the next Andre Johnson, or that Claiborne is the next Charles Woodson. That is what I would need to see. But I do believe that Kalil is the next Jake Long, or even Tony Boselli, speaking of former Trojans other than Ron Yary.

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homerunkingApr. 22, 1211:52 AM

I cant believe there is even a discussion about not taking this guy. Claiborne got a 4 on his wunderlich test. A 4!!! Unless they get a King's ransom of a trade offer the Vikings should run up the card with Kalil's name on it. Run!

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swatdocApr. 22, 1212:03 PM

Well as a Viking fan and an OSU Cowboy fan, the Vikings can't go wrong with Justin Blackmon either. He is a game changer. I mean this guy won the Biletnikoff award 2 years in a row. No one had an answer for him! As a Sooner Adrian Peterson was a sworn enemy to me. But when he put on the purple and gold I became his biggest fan. The same people that dissed taking Peterson and the same ones dissing Blackmon. Remember everyone saying the Vikes needed to draft Brady Quinn and NOT Peterson. Well look what #28 has done. I can assure Viking fans this. If the Vikings organization does in fact draft Blackmon, he will deliver ! So Im cool with whatever they do. Don't despair Viking fans if Blackmons name is called. He will deliver !!

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slugmccracknApr. 22, 1212:09 PM

Then there’s the assessment from Greg Cosell of NFL Films, who writes that in his own mock draft, not only does Kalil not go at No. 3 to the Vikings, but Kalil doesn’t even go in the Top 10. Cosell isn’t necessarily down on Kalil — he calls Kalil the top tackle in the draft — but he doesn’t think Kalil’s talents and any team’s needs align until at least 10 picks are off the board.

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westarApr. 22, 12 2:20 PM

Hard to throw to any wide-outs, if your laying on your back. Take the best bet and start the rebuilding process. Should be a good wide-out or db in second round.

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tjtwinsfanApr. 22, 12 4:12 PM

The hardest thing to figure out is what Cleveland wants with its pick and how we can trade our pick to them and get one of their other 1st round pick from them. That is what we need to find out then I would go for Kalil But we need a superstar receiver in the worst way. We will in no way be a playoff team this year and I just hope we don't end up in the middle of the draft next year and still end up with no star receivers. We will have no running game this year with APs knee blown out and Gerharts too. Their wont be any great wide outs by our 2nd pick just another Aromodusu type which is pathetic type. He is scared of the ball unless he is wide open. Adrian Petersons will not risk coming back early because he signed his huge contract and will not risk his health and knee now. He's got the money why would anyone risk losing it.

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