If the most important position in all of sports is the quarterback, the next most important should be that of the man who protects him, the left tackle. In years past we have seen guys like Joe Thomas and Jake Long taken in the first round and make immediate impacts in their rookie seasons.
Just like Long and Thomas, Matt Kalil projects to be a top-five pick and will be expected to make major contributions from day one. Kalil, a redshirt junior, will forgo his senior season for the opportunity of protecting an NFL quarterback.
Kalil has prototypical left tackle size, standing 6'6" and weighing in at nearly 300 lbs, and uses his strength as well as his great technique to ward off the best of defenders. Kalil shows good patience in pass blocking, allowing his defender to come to him instead of overextending and opening up a lane for the defender. His run-blocking skills are not as much of a strength as his pass-blocking skills, but given an opportunity to improve and learn from the best, Kalil should have no problem improving that aspect of his game.
Expect Kalil to be taken somewhere around the third overall pick, and he should cement himself at the left tackle position for the next decade.