Elite left tackles don't come along every year, but Matt Kalil fits the bill. A big, strong offensive tackle with rare quickness, Kalil personifies what scouts look for at the position.
What makes Kalil so great?
You can start with his football pedigree, noting that his brother Ryan has made three straight Pro Bowls as a center for the Carolina Panthers. His work ethic is outstanding, as he gained 10 lbs before the NFL Scouting Combine to beef up his (relatively) lean frame. Kalil has the length to effectively punch defenders off the ball, allowing him to create space and then slide and mirror pass-rushers who try to work him with a double move.
Kalil does need work to maintain leverage by bending at the knees instead of the waist when engaging defenders in the run game, but this can be taught. Once he can master keeping his weight down in his rear, Kalil will become a dominant pass- and run-blocker.
Analysis: The Vikings need to protect Christian Ponder to give him a chance to become a solid starter in this league. Kalil is a big move toward building on that investment.
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