I’m just going to go ahead and say it, the Minnesota Vikings hit a home run by drafting Matt Kalil with the fourth overall pick in last year’s draft. Offensive tackles like Kalil come around for a franchise maybe once every decade at best, and Minnesota got a really good one in No. 75.
Not that I ever heard anything negative about Kalil last spring before the draft, but until you see a guy on the field, you really just don’t know if he’ll live up to the hype. But I can honestly say that from the first time I saw Kalil in a preseason game, I knew he was legit.
The guy is just a physical specimen at 6’6″, 308 lbs, with the ability to follow plays all the way down the field. I can’t tell you how many times I saw replays last season where Kalil was still blocking guys 20-25 yards from the line of scrimmage.
But of course the most important part of a left tackle’s job is protecting the quarterback, and Kalil did a great job of that as well in 2012. Even though it’s an unofficial stat for individuals, most sites have Kalil only allowing one sack all season. That coupled with only one holding penalty, and you have Pro Bowl offensive lineman.
This is best case scenario for the Vikings. They have a very solid piece of foundation to build on for many years to come. It’s a shame Kalil will get no hype for rookie of the year, as no lineman in history has ever won the award, but he at least deserves recognition and that’s just what he’s received with his selection to the Pro Bowl.
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