And after trading back from the 3rd pick to the 4th pick with the Cleveland Browns, the Minnesota Vikings select ... Matt Kalil, tackle, USC, effectively shutting up all you morons who thought the team would select Justin Blackmon (I'M LOOKING AT YOU SHAWN ZOBEL).
WHO? Matt Kalil, tackle out of USC, is a 6'6", 306 pound red-shirt junior who started at left tackle for the Trojans for two years, protecting that ninny Matt Barkley so he could have great production as a quarterback, and helping USC become a resurgent offensive team ... Even though they're cheaters and can't play in any bowl games. But whatever, they still put up a shit ton of points and could do whatever they wanted on offense, AND IT'S ALL BECAUSE OF MATT KALIL, who now plays for the Vikings. Also? He's got a great Minnesota smile. You know ... One of those that's kind of goofy but still shows lots of white teeth. Like a shy Jonny Flynn, if you will.
He'll fit in great here!
THE GOODNESS: Kalil was far and away the best left tackle prospect in this draft, and the Vikings needed to get him. Not only did they pick him with their first pick of the night, but they practically shaved the Browns' testicles while they were at it and stripped searched them for three additional picks all so Cleveland could jump one pick ahead of them to #3 instead of sitting tight and drafting Trent Richardson (who they ended up with) at #4. Were they worried that Tampa Bay was going to move ahead of them and nab him? Maybe, but Spielman mentioned in a conference call late Thursday night that the Bucs weren't interested in a trade with the Vikings. Instead, they focused on defense - not offense - with their early first round pick. God, the Browns are stupid, and don't even get me started on drafting Brandon Weedon. Really??! The guy will retire next year. Won't even finish his rookie contract. Because he's 47 YEARS OLD. It's like Brett Favre reincarnate, minus the whole being good thing.
Anyway, about Kalil ... He's a very solid prospect for the Vikes to plug in at left tackle. While he may not be as physically gifted as other recent tackle cornerstones like Jake Long or Joe Thomas, he's very sound. He's quick on his feet to help protect against speed rushers, smart enough to know his assignments and handle them one on one (LOOKING AT YOU, CHARLIE JOHNSON), and strong enough to disrupt his guy off the line and get to the next level in the running game. Also, he brings with him an attractive girlfriend (in the above picture, assumed to be on the left) and a MILF (right, red), which really should have gone into determining his draft stock a long time ago.
THE BAD NEWS BEARS: People will nit pick about anything, like saying "He doesn't have a Shanko penis!" but really, there's only one person that does. With Kalil, people say they remain a bit worried that he might not be strong enough to handle NFL caliber bull rushers, or that he got by on his athletic ability throughout his career, but whatever. Give him a year in an NFL strength and conditioning program, personal chefs, and all that shit and the guy will be fine.
FINAL VERDICT? This was, and always was, the only and obvious pick. People running their yaps about Morris Claiborne and Justin Blackmon are complete yuppies too caught up in the draft process. Kalil becomes an instant started and was a wonderful balance pick between value and need. Everyone keeps talking about how he won't put points on the board, or how he will help Ponder and that's all great, but he's going to be a revelation in the running game, too. I can't tell you how many times over the past four or five years I've watched Bryant McKinnie alligator arm a run block and see Purple Jesus get blown up in the backfield. Drafting Kalil, a hungry young player, improves the running game as well, but also the entire offensive line. Charlie Johnson can move inside, Sullivan is set, we have Geoff Schwartz now at a possible guard spot, and options at right tackle, too. It's a completely different line, and one that might actually be competent if healthy. GAME CHANGER< BITCHES.
More than anything, the fact that Spielman didn't get all sneaky and pick a player with more serious question marks like Claiborne or Blackmon actually makes me want to put some faith in his decision making, and that freaks me out more than anything. Regardless, Matt Kalil is a Vikings, and it was the right choice.
And again, just to remind everyone how big of a fraud local "draft guru" Shawn Zobel is, I have saved this for us to treasure for eternity. You're welcome!
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@roundhouse You are correct. After research, I've found this "Mrs. California 1993" thing is some weird sub-pageant to discover the most attractive married woman in the state, which seems like an odd thing to spend time on, right? What good does knowing that do anyone? She's already taken.
I have no complaints whatsoever with this pick. Top of the very short list of great things Spielmahn has ever done.
Also, found out that Kalil's mom is former Mrs. California. Will be doing extensive picture research, I assure all of you.
Wow... Zobel's a moron.
If one of the biggest "downsides" of Kalil is (a) he's smaller and *might* get pushed around by big bull rushers; and (b) he "*may* not be as physically gifted as other recent tackle cornerstones like Jake Long or Joe Thomas" than I feel AWESOME about this pick. As you noted, he can bulk up (and will), and he's an absolute FREAK athletically (in addition to be a hugely huge man).
I don't know about the white safety, but I am ECSTATIC about Kalil. Now we just need to trade back up into the 2nd round and maybe pick up a WR (I can dream that Hill from GA Tech will still be there)
@Lakeville Mikey That's my biggest concern as well, is how the team handles the 2nd round. If we say through the first two rounds we ended up with Kalil and Smith, I give it a B. Fine, solid even, but not sure about the price we had to pay for Smith. On the other hand, if we get those two and move up into the late 2nd for a potentially nice WR, I'm one board with some NFC North opponent finger bangings in 2012.
@PJD Even without another move in the 2nd round, I'm actually going to (and I can't believe I'm saying this) trust Speilman. He's actually had a pretty good track record (yes, he has several "misses" in his drafts, but most of them are in later rounds, where EVERY team has some misses). He did also get us PJ, Percy, the Hobbit, Kyle Rudolph, a couple solid (albeit backup) DEs, and a handful of really solid players. I honestly have to believe that if he rated Smith high enough to trade up for him, that he might actually be worth something.
Now, he just needs to get us a starting WR and a staring CB, and maybe pick up a boatload of late round O lineman hoping that just one of them is actually worth a damn, and I will give this draft an A+
@Lakeville Mikey I can't give Spielman any credit for picks made before this draft. With our franchises stupid triangle of authority, there was no telling who drafted who, why, what, etc. Sure, they were picked under Spielman's watch, but I got no idea who to blame the bad one's on, Spielman or Childress.
Although I'm edging closer to blaming Childress for everything after watching the Browns draft last night. Holy shit.