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NFL Lines - Vikings Bolster Offensive Line

Posted by Elio Masi on 5/27/2012 4:19:08 PM

NFL Lines – Vikings Bolster Offensive Line

With the fourth overall pick in the 2012 NFL lines Entry Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected offensive tackle Matt Kalil from USC. Given the Vikings selected quarterback Christian Ponder in the first round of the last Draft, it only made sense for them to seek out an offensive tackle in order to protect him.

At 6’6” and 306 pounds, Matt Kalil was considered the top tackle prospect going into the draft. He’s had great success for USC as an amateur and looked extremely comfortable every night playing on the left side. He’s had much success at protecting Matt Barkley’s blindside over the past couple of years, buying him that extra time needed to find an open receiver. Given that his father is a former semi-pro and his brother currently plays for the Carolina Panthers at center, Kalil is surrounded by NFL lines experience. Making the jump for him next season shouldn't be too big an issue, something that must have seemed extremely appealing to the Vikings.

Not only was Kalil projected to go in the top five of the Draft, he was also the favorite in being the first lineman to be drafted in the class. Many believe Matt Kalil is so skilled that he could easily hold down the left tackle position for any team that’s looking.

Being both tall and built, Matt Kalil possesses two of the more important qualities needed for a man of his position. He’s pretty light on his feet considering his height and weight class, a quality, which helps him explode after a snap and move into position. When it comes to a running game, something the Vikings are sure to utilize with someone like Adrian Peterson on their roster, Kalil is able to deliver a crippling first blow in order to keep his man out of the play and open up a route. He is also raved to have a tremendous kick step when in pass protection and can slide around with ease.

Given his tendency to play upright, he sometimes has issues with anchoring and stalling bull rushers. Due to the limited level of knee bend he plays with, few scouts thought he might be a work in progress. In order to be able to take on the more explosive ends in the NFL lines, he’ll definitely need to work a little harder on his stance and becoming a little more well rounded.

Elio’s Edge

I personally like the pick. The Vikings needed a NFL lines superstar on their offensive line and I truly believe they got one. They’ve been a work in progress since Favre left them and have finally put in the missing pieces to regain an explosive offense. With Peterson working the field, Ponder at quarterback and Kalil protecting their left side, their offense has just opened up on the left side of the field. You can be sure that Peterson will look to run it up the left side from here on in, knowing that he has Kalil to protect him.

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