Fans are usually excited to get their first glimpse of their team's top pick in team colors. Coaches are eager to see how their newest additions look on the field. When veteran teammates show up to watch a rookie at his first minicamp, you know something unique is happening.
After some misdirection and a brilliant trade down one spot, the Minnesota Vikings selected USC OT Matt Kalil to be their long-term blindside protector for QB Christian Ponder. When Kalil showed up to the team's rookie minicamp, Minneapolis Star-Tribune beat writer Dan Wiederer reported that Ponder and three of the other four starting offensive linemen were watching on the sidelines.
Phil Loadholt, who will be starting at right tackle opposite Kalil, was impressed with how Kalil moved, according to Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Head coach Leslie Frazier gushed about Kalil, saying that his massive frame "sticks out" and that watching him shows why the team has "high hopes" for Kalil. Frazier also called Kalil's performance "excellent" and complimented his ability to pick up information.
John Holler of VikingUpdate.com also noticed Kalil's "smooth as silk" movement. He reports that Kalil said his transition to the Vikings' offense should be easier for him because it is similar to what they ran at USC with the exception of the terminology.
With Christian Ponder's lengthy injury history and a division that features Julius Peppers, Clay Matthews and Cliff Avril, Kalil will be the only thing between the Vikings QB and potential disaster. It's easy to see why Ponder and Kalil's linemates wasted no time finding out exactly what the No. 4 overall pick had to offer.
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