Minnesota Vikings 2012 Draft: Getting to Know 1st Round Pick Matt Kalil

Sammy SucuSenior Analyst IApril 26, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Matt Kalil (R) from USC holds up a jersey as he stands on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected #4 overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings struck gold in the 2012 NFL Draft, drafting the best player at the position in which they needed the most help while also receiving a couple of late draft picks from the Cleveland Browns

Left tackle Matt Kalil will provide second-year quarterback Christian Ponder with protection, while opening up holes for the running game led by Adrian Peterson

Everyone has been hearing how great Kalil is, but now that he is a member of the Minnesota Vikings, you may want to get to know him better.

Kalil, the Vikings fourth overall pick, played for the University of Southern California. The Vikings did not necessarily select him because they are trying to move to Los Angeles, so there should not be much of a concern in that department.

Kalil was so great in school that USC had to move Tyron Smith, last year's ninth overall selection to the Dallas Cowboys, to the right tackle position so Kalil could play left tackle. That is one incredible achievement that will never show up on any stat sheet. 

As a starter at USC, he protected next year's top quarterback prospect, Matt Barkley. He did not know what it felt like to be sacked because Kalil never allowed anyone to do so. Everyone considered him to be the top left tackle in the draft, and he was selected just the way everyone thought. 

That type of play earned him the honors of being a first team All-American and first team All Pac-12 in 2011.

Kalil is actually the younger brother of the Carolina Panthers' starting center, Ryan Kalil. If the younger brother is anything like his older brother, expect for the Vikings to have incredible offensive line play for the next decade. Kalil's father was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1982 after playing center at Arkansas and Arizona in college. 

Standing in at 6'6 and an unofficial 310 pounds, Kalil will provide the Vikings with size, strength and incredible agility for a man of his size. The Vikings not only got a great player here, but they also got a very great person as well that comes from a strong NFL bloodline. 

Kalil is excited to be a Minnesota Viking and if you are a fan of the team, you should be excited to. He spoke about his excitement in a conference call after he was drafted.

When did you start thinking you would be a Viking?

"I think when I visited. I got good vibes from a lot of the coaches. They were telling me they really wanted me, and once they figured out what they were going to do, they really considered picking me wherever they were going to pick. Really, I got good vibes from there, but still anxious to find out, but it all worked out and I really couldn't picture myself any other place."


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.