With about 80 hours to go until the NFL draft, a new “storyline” has emerged – we’re apparently off Ryan Tannehill and Robert Griffin and we’ve moved on to … Matt Kalil, the Vikings, and the No. 3 pick.
The Vikings could use a franchise left tackle. Matt Kalil, who protected Matt Barkley at USC for three years, mostly fits the profile (though this year’s Draft Wunderkind, Greg Cosell, disagrees. More on Cosell later in the week.) Kalil is a bit undersized (only 306 pounds at the Combine), but by all accounts, every other tool is there. The Vikings have a young QB (Ponder), an aging line, and arguably the best back in the NFL. Bolstering the line makes obvious sense.
Pretty much a no-brainer, right*?
Except for the last few days, the Vikings have been telling any NFL reporter who will listen – anonymously, of course – how they don’t love Kalil (entitlement!). Problem is, absolutely nobody is buying that they don’t love him – more likely, Minnesota just doesn’t think Kalil’s value is worth a No. 3 pick, and they’d love to trade down. They’ve been sending up the bat signal for days, but with the draft Thursday, they’re running out of time.
* I can, however, see the Vikings going with Mo Claiborne, the LSU cornerback. In my December and January mock drafts, I had the Vikings taking Claiborne 3rd. In a division with Rodgers, Cutler and Stafford, one of the worst secondaries in the NFC needed a stud corner. Why the change in February/April? At the end of the season, all signs pointed to the Vikings upgrading at corner in the offseason … and they added two. That doesn’t mean they won’t add a 3rd in Claiborne, but the draft is also stronger at cornerback than it is left tackle. I think the safer pick is Kalil.