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2012 NFL Draft: Passing on Matt Kalil May Be the Right Move

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 25: Offensive lineman Matt Kalil of USC looks on during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 25, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Sammy SucuSenior Analyst IApril 26, 2012

If the Minnesota Vikings pass on Matt Kalil with the third overall pick, it may be the smartest move in the draft.

There is no denying that the Vikings need a left tackle to protect Christian Ponder's blind side and open up holes for the running game; however, the team needs a cornerback and a wide receiver just as bad. Kalil is the best left tackle prospect in the draft, and if you asked anyone a couple of weeks ago, they would say he is a lock to Minnesota.

That has all changed now, and it's understandable as to why. The Vikings face a huge problem right now with their stadium. There is a great chance that the plans might fall through, and the beloved Vikings may leave Minnesota for Los Angeles.

The team wants to add as much star power as possible, and a left tackle is not really the most popular position. 

However, a shutdown cornerback or a No. 1 option at wide receiver would bring much more attention to the team. Even though a left tackle is arguably the second-most important part of a team, casual fans usually don't know much about them. These casual fans, along with some people in the government of Minnesota, are likely to characterize with the stars. 

Although I do not agree with this type of logic, it is unfortunately true. 

What does make sense about passing on Kalil is the fact that the Vikings have the 35th overall pick, and another left tackle will be available here.

Someone like a Jonathan Martin out of Stanford or a Mike Adams out of Ohio State would be perfect fits for the Vikings. Of course both of them will not be as good as Kalil, but in the second round, both would come at perfect value to the team. 

The Vikings could then shore up their defensive secondary by drafting a lockdown corner or picking up that wide receiver that they so desperately need. With the third overall pick, Claiborne is definitely a better value pick than Blackmon, but the team may need Blackmon's services much more. 

What the Vikings need to do is focus on giving Ponder as much help as possible. It doesn't really matter how they do it, but the team needs to draft a left tackle and wide receiver in the first two rounds.

This draft is way too important for the Vikings to mess up, and with the third overall selection and a bunch of talent for the Vikings to choose from, it's really tough to mess this one up.

With that being said, Viking nation should not be upset if the Vikings pass on Kalil. It's easy to see where the team is coming from, and although he is the right person to draft, there may be a more efficient way to save the stadium and draft the two biggest positions of need. 

 

Sammy Sucu is a featured columnist for the WWE. Sammy also writes for the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Lakers. You can follow him on Twitter.

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