Feb 25, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern California Trojans offensive lineman Matt Kalil does the 40 yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

2012 NFL Draft: USC Trojans Left Tackle Matt Kalil

The junior Kalil was an All-American in 2011.

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NFL Draft: No. 4 Matt Kalil Continues USC Offensive Lineman Tradition

Matt Kalil of the USC Trojans had a fine college career and was an All-American left tackle in his junior season in 2011. He parlayed that into becoming the No 4 overall pick in the NFL draft, picked by the Minnesota Vikings to protect the blindside of quarterback Christian Ponder. Kalil becomes the latest in a long line of Trojans offensive linemen drafted in the top 10, with a great track record of NFL success:

Ron Yary (No. 1 overall, 1968): Seven Pro Bowls, six first team All-Pro selections, Hall of Famer.

Tony Boselli (No. 2 overall, 1995): Five Pro Bowls, three-time first team All-Pro, six years as a starter before injuries.

Anthony Munoz (No. 3 overall, 1980): 11 Pro Bowls, nine-time first team All-Pro, Hall of Famer.

Marvin Powell (No. 4 overall, 1977): Five Pro Bowls, three-time first team All-Pro, nine years as a starter.

Ken Ruettgers (No. 7 overall, 1985): Nine years as a starter.

Ron Mix (No. 10 overall, 1960): Eight Pro Bowls, nine-time first team All-Pro, Hall of Famer.

Mike Taylor (No. 10 overall, 1968): Okay, six out of seven isn't bad.

To find out more about Kalil and USC Trojans football, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles. For all your NFL Draft news, be sure to follow SB Nation all weekend.

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NFL Draft 2012: USC Trojans' Matt Kalil Picked No. 4 By Minnesota Vikings

USC Trojans All-American left tackle Matt Kalil was selected at No. 4 in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Minneosta Vikings. Kalil left USC after his junior season, and the decision proved to be fruitful, as he was the top lineman taken in the draft.

Kalil measured out at the NFL combine at 6'6.5" and 306 pounds, and is expected to step right in and protect the backside of quarterback Christian Ponder in Minnesota. Kalil spearheaded a stellar offensive line with USC that saw Matt Barkley sacked just eight times in 12 games last season, with Kalil personally yielding no sacks.

Kalil won the Morris Trophy in 2011 as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-12 Conference.

Kalil is the 15th USC Trojan to be drafted in the first round since 2003, and the highest Trojan picked since Reggie Bush was picked second by the New Orleans Saints in 2006.

To find out more about Kalil and USC Trojans football, be sure to read Conquest Chronicles. For all your NFL Draft news, be sure to follow SB Nation all weekend.

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Matt Kalil Sliding? Minnesota Vikings Reportedly Favor Morris Claiborne

Matt Kalil is considered the best pure offensive tackle prospect available in the 2012 NFL Draft, and for a long time has been considered the surest thing behind Andrew Luck of Stanford and Robert Griffin III of Baylor. But will he go third to the Minnesota Vikings?

It does seem like Minnesota is going to take a look around and survey their options, and might actually like another player. Evan Silva of Pro Football Talk files this report.

Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, NFL Network’s Steve Wyche reports that LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne is the No. 1 player on the Vikings’ draft board, and they are "leaning toward" drafting Claiborne with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft.

Per Wyche, the Vikings also "like [Claiborne] more" than USC tackle Matt Kalil.

Is this simply a rumor being spread around by the Vikings to try and drum up interest to trade their draft pick? Or will Kalil end up going to a team other than the Minnesota Vikings?

To talk about how good a fit Kalil or Claiborne would be with Vikings fans, hit up Daily Norseman. Discuss Kalil with USC football fans, go to Conquest Chronicles. Learn more about Claiborne from LSU fans at And The Valley Shook.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Picked By Bucs And Vikings According To Mel Kiper And Mike Mayock

Behind Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil is probably the player most people feel will pan out and be an all-time great. However, there is some uncertainty as to whether Kalil will end up being picked third.

Mel Kiper released his latest and final mock for the 2012 NFL Draft (you can view the full mock if you have an ESPN Insider account), and it has the tackle ending up dropping down the board to the fifth spot for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If the board fell this way, I can also see the Bucs working the phones to get out of this spot. Kalil really would be a nice addition for this team, but they could shop the pick to a team in more desperate need of a top tackle.

Mike Mayock also has released his only mock draft, and Kalil stays at the third spot.

Here's where the intrigue begins. Why do I go LT here instead of CB or WR? GM Rick Spielman has to be thinking about the Vikings' 35th overall pick when he makes this one. If he gets Kalil here, he can come back and get LSU WR Rueben Randle or maybe Montana CB Trumaine Johnson in the second round.

Check out the video of Mayock explaining the pick.

To discuss Kalil and how well he'd fit in Minnesota with Vikings fans, go to Daily Norseman. Check out what Bucs fans think about picking Kalil in Bucs Nation. To talk about Kalil and see what about the Trojans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. Check out Mocking The Draft to learn more about mock drafts.

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NFL Draft 2012: Buffalo Bills Interested In Trading Up For Matt Kalil, According To Report

Matt Kalil has seemed like a lock to go to the Minnesota Vikings for quite some time, but according to CBS Sports' Charley Casserly, the Buffalo Bills are interested in trading up for the top-offensive lineman in this 2012 class.

Per Charley Casserly on Twitter:

This could be a move that shifts the tides a bit, though I don't foresee Washington to pass on Robert Griffin III to grab Kalil just to trade him for two picks later on, but who knows. Crazier things have certainly happened before, and Daniel Snyder is Daniel Snyder. This is likely going to be a deal with the Vikings though, that is of course if it happens.

Nevertheless, we'll have more on this story as it unfolds.

For more news and notes on the Buffalo Bills, please check out Buffalo Rumblings. USC Trojans fan? Head over to Conquest Chronicles or SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on the NFL draft in general, head over to Mocking the Draft and SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Vikings Select USC's Matt Kalil According to Don Banks' Final Mock

With the 2012 NFL draft only hours away, fans around the globe prepare to watch their favorite college players transition into the pro game, but it all starts with draft weekend.

Sports Illustrated's Don Banks has been cranking out his mock drafts, and in his final 7.0 version, he still has the Minnesota Vikings selecting Matt Kalil with the third overall pick.

Here is Banks with the commentary:

I know Morris Claiborne and Justin Blackmon remain in play for the Vikings, but when it's all said and done, I think general manager Rick Spielman wants to get his offensive line fixed first and foremost. Even ahead of a historically bad secondary. That's my logic in sticking with the USC offensive tackle and not going for the last-minute change of direction.

Kalil has seemed the fit for the Vikings for months, essentially since the very first mock drafts were being released this year. Now it can all come to fruition tomorrow, once and for all putting this baby to rest.

For more discussion and analysis of the USC Trojans, head over to Conquest Chronicles. For the Vikings side of things, head over to the Daily Norsemen. For news and notes on the draft in general, please check out Mocking the Draft or SB Nation's dedicated NFL hub.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Selected By Vikings, Trade Could Be Possible

Just about every mock draft to be released over the last month has Matt Kalil heading to the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 3 overall pick. While there is little doubt that Kalil would be a great fit with the Vikings, there is a decent chance the team trades their pick to a team looking to secure someone like Ryan Tannehill or Trent Richardson. The latest mock draft from FOX Sports thinks this could happen on Thursday night.

3. MINNESOTA VIKINGS: MATT KALIL, OT, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Since the Vikings have three or four prospects they'd consider drafting here, a trade down is possible. Maybe the Rams would move up for Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Perhaps someone will move up here to secure Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

In the end, though, I think teams will balk at the price it would cost to trade up to No. 3. If the Vikings keep the pick, it would make sense to take Kalil, the draft's top-rated left tackle, which also happens to be the team's biggest need. Morris Claiborne and Justin Blackmon would be possibilities, too.

The consensus belief is that Kalil will eventually end up with the Vikings, but you just never know with the NFL Draft. Teams always play their cards close to the vest and you never know which of them are going to try and swoop in on a talent like Kalil should Minnesota decide to trade down.

For more on Kalil and the USC Trojans, check out Conquest Chronicles. Vikings fans should visit The Daily Norseman

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Kalil Headed To Vikings In SB Nation's Latest Mock Draft

It's getting pretty crazy heading into the NFL Draft. Players are falling down boards while others are rapidly rising. This might be one of the more unpredictable drafts in a while after the first two picks are done.

And no. 3 to the Minnesota Vikings is exactly where SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber has USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil going in his latest mock draft.

This is a pick that has been here for the majority of the mock draft season but there is still a little bit of doubt as to what the Vikings might do in this spot. LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne has also been mentioned as a possibility in this spot. But like Van Bibber says, ‘Don't over-think it'. If you are having trouble deciding a player to pick and one of your options is a future anchor to your offensive line that you will rely on to protect your young quarterback, you take the safer route.

Only time will tell if the Vikings take the Kalil route.

To discuss the mock draft with Vikings fans and figure out whether they should pick Kalil, go to Daily Norseman. To talk about how good Kalil is with USC football fans, check out Conquest Chronicles. Hit up Mocking the Draft to learn more about mock drafts.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Kalil To Minnesota Vikings

Offensive tackle Matt Kalil of the USC Trojans is definitely the best offensive line prospect out there in the 2012 NFL Draft. Andrew Luck of the Stanford Cardinal and Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears are almost a guarantee to go first and second overall regarding the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins. So it's very likely that the Minnesota Vikings will end up grabbing him next.

DraftTek releases his latest mock, and the Vikings end up taking Kalil third overall with their first round pick .

In a recent article , Clark Judge sums things up pretty well. In short, if you have the QB, and the Vikings believe they do, then give him the protection he needs to succeed. I'd add that, in a worst-case scenario, if Ponder fails and the Vikings are picking in the Top 5 again next year, there will be a number of solid QB prospects available like Matt Barkley or Landry Jones. At least with a solid OL, they'll find out much quicker whether their QB has the ability to succeed or not.

To discuss the mock draft with Vikings fans and figure out whether they should pick Kalil, go to Daily Norseman. To talk about how good Kalil is with USC football fans, check out Conquest Chronicles. Hit up Mocking the Draft to learn more about mock drafts.

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NFL Draft 2012: Mel Kiper Talks Matt Kalil and the #3 Pick

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr hosted a reporters' conference call on Friday and talked a little bit about the emerging rumors that say USC's Matt Kalil may not go to the Minnesota Vikings with the #3 overall pick, something that's been somewhat a given the past few weeks.

Said Kiper:

That's something that's been discussed a lot because of Minnesota, seeming like now they're kind of, I wouldn't say lukewarm, but maybe going a different direction other than Matt Kalil, who they do need. Minnesota needs a left tackle but they have a need at wide receiver, they have a big need at corner. They have nobody at corner, and they're in a division with Stafford, Cutler and Rodgers. So you'd better have some corners. They don't have any beyond the guys that they're penciling in as starters and there's some iffy situations there.

So I would say Morris Claiborne could jump in there. There's been talk about them trading down. But if Kalil is there, you've got Joe Thomas. You've got one of the best left tackles in the game. You could say, well, plenty of right tackles and other issues, you could move somebody over there, fine, but this team needs skill players.

It would be great to say you could bring Matt Kalil in, but are you going to pass up a running back like Richardson, are you going to pass up a wide receiver like Blackmon? They passed up Julio Jones last year at seven, let Atlanta come and get him. The worst skill position talent in the NFL is at Cleveland, and I'm not touting the quarterback because the quarterback had no chance, didn't have a fighting chance with the talent around him.

So I can't see that. Again, you're woefully lacking. You can't make the argument that Kalil is in the stratosphere of tackles because he's not. You can't say, well, they take the best player. I would argue I think Kalil, Claiborne, Blackmon and Richardson all bunched together, and you just take the one you feel you need the most.
Another offensive lineman brought into the mix playing a position he didn't play, I would not go that route, no. It's nice to do all your due diligence, but I would go rather the skill position player or else you're going to be spinning your wheels again, I think.

Some believe the Vikings would be better off taking Morris Claiborne to combat the strong-armed and dangerous quarterbacks in Minnesota's division - Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, and Matthew Stafford. Even so, it seems like a major stretch that the Vikings would pass on such a sure-fire prospect like Kalil, a guy that will be protecting the blindside of the team's first round pick last year, Christian Ponder.

We shall see - the NFL Draft kicks off next Thursday, six short days away.

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NFL Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Scouting Report And Possible Destinations

Is Matt Kalil a lock to go to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 3 overall in next week's draft?

A report on Thursday revealed that the Vikings are considering the former USC Trojan, along with cornerback Morris Clairborne and wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Minnesota's general manager, Rick Spielman reportedly has narrowed the team's No. 3 pick to those three names.

While most experts have the Vikings taking Kalil, the Vikings could use help in their secondary and their receiving corps. Clairborne could help the Vikings combat the passing offenses of Green Bay, Detroit and Chicago in the NFC North.

If for some reason Minnesota does not decide to take Kalil, they could trade down and still be able to draft Clairborne or Blackmon.

Another unlikely possibility involves Kalil dropping to No. 5 to the Tampa Bay Bucaneers. The Vikings could take Clairborne (a Bucs target) at No. 3 while the Browns could take Trent Richardson at No. 4 (a Bucs target).

Minnesota is still the most likely destination for Kalil, but never say never.

Here's a video scouting report on Kalil:

Matt Kalil 2012 NFL Draft Profile (via sbnnfl)

To talk about the prospect of Kalil being drafted, head on over to Daily Norseman (our Vikings SB Nation site). Check out Conquest Chronicles to see what USC fans think of Kalil.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil An Apparent Lock For Minnesota Vikings

Ever since the Washington Redskins moved up to claim the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the thought amongst all draft experts is that USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil would head north to the Minnesota Vikings. Given their struggles to protect Christian Ponder in the backfield last season, a sturdy tackle like Kalil could do wonders for their young quarterback and his development.

According to the latest mock draft conducted by USA Today, all five of their analysts had Kalil going No. 3 overall to Minnesota. The panel of experts included staff writers Jarrett Bell, Jim Corbett and Nate Davis, along with Rob Rang of NFL Draft Scout and Wes Bunting of National Football Post.

There always seems to be a curveball or two thrown during the first round of the draft, but it really does look like Kalil will indeed be a Viking this time next week.

For more on Kalil and the USC Trojans, head over to Conquest Chronicles. Vikings fans should check out The Daily Norseman. For all things related to the 2012 draft, be sure to visit Mocking The Draft.

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Matt Kalil, Cleveland Browns Arrange For Private Workout

For a long time, it's been speculated that the logical third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft would be left tackle Matt Kalil of the USC Trojans. Kalil seems like one of those surefire talents who might immediately upgrade a team's offensive line, and more importantly provide important pass protection for his new quarterback. The Minnesota Vikings currently own the third pick in the draft, so they figure to have the inside track.

That isn't stopping the Cleveland Browns from taking a look at Kalila. Could Kalil actually drop to the fourth spot? It's possible Minnesota could look elsewhere. Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer has more.

Just eight days before the NFL draft, the Browns will travel to conduct a private workout today with top-rated USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil, a league source told The Plain Dealer.

The Browns have also hosted Kalil in Cleveland as one of their predraft visits.

Kalil (6-6, 306) is expected to go No. 3 to Minnesota, but the Vikings will listen to trade offers, and reports have surfaced recently that they might pass on Kalil.

To discuss the possibility of the Browns picking up Kalil, head to Dawgs by Nature. To learn more about Kalil from USC football fans, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil To Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings are going to fall behind in the sweepstakes for a potential franchise quarterback like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. But waiting for them is potentially a franchise left tackle.

Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation files his latest mock draft report, and guess what, Matt Kalil goes to the Vikings once again with the third pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Vikings are doing everything they can to muddy the waters about their pick. Morris Claiborne and even Justin Blackmon have been mentioned as possibilities. Kalil is by far the best pick, both in terms of draft spot and talent, but the Vikings may pass on him. Adam Schefter predicted that possibility responding reader questions last week.

Related Video: Matt Kalil Scouting Report

It's starting to become more of a question of who's going to end up being drafted fourth, because it looks as if the top three picks are all but signed, sealed, delivered.

To talk about Kalil and USC football, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. Learn more about Kalil and the Vikings, hit up Daily Norseman. To discuss NFL mock drafts in general, best to check out Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil To Minnesota Vikings

USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil is the best left tackle prospect in this year's 2012 NFL Draft. With Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck likely to be drafted first by the Indianapolis Colts and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III probably going second to the Washington Redskins, Kalil seems like the logical candidate to go third. Offensive linemen are at too much of a premium, particularly at the left tackle position. It's just too important to keeping an offense functioning.

DraftTek files his latest mock, and with the third pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings take Kalil.


To talk about Kalil with Vikings fans, head on over to Daily Norseman. To discuss how good Kalil is with the USC fans who've watched him for ages,
go to Conquest Chronicles. To learn more about mock drafts in general, head to Mocking The Draft.

Check out the SB Nation YouTube NFL Draft channel for more coverage of the upcoming pick.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Vikings Select Matt Kalil In SB Nation Blogger Mock

SB Nation recently released the first round of their annual SB Nation Blogger Mock Draft, asking a member of each one of SB Nation's NFL blogs to make the first-round pick of their respective team. The Daily Norseman, our resident Vikings blog, has made their selection for Minnesota, selecting offensive lineman Matt Kalil No. 3 overall.

Here's the Norseman with the commentary:

With the highest pick the team has had in a quarter-century, the Vikings find themselves in a position to take the best non-quarterback prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft, whoever they deem that prospect to be. It just so happens that the three biggest areas of need for the Vikings - cornerback, wide receiver, and offensive tackle - intersect with three blue-chip prospects in Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon and Matt Kalil. With the team being in a prime position here, they might be able to trade back and accumulate some more picks for their rebuilding process, but if they do stay here, Kalil is the smartest play, in my opinion.

The Vikings have some youth in their secondary and at wide receiver that they could potentially develop, but the one thing that we know for sure is that the Minnesota Vikings absolutely, positively can not go into the 2012 NFL season with Charlie Johnson as their starting left tackle. The Vikings have placed their future on the shoulders of Christian Ponder (and/or Joe Webb for the "true believers" out there), and they're never really going to know what they have in either of those quarterbacks if they have to scrape themselves off of the turf at the rate they did in 2011. Kalil would immediately be the starter at left tackle, moving Johnson to one of the guard spots and improving two spots on an offensive line that was woefully deficient in 2011. Kalil showed in his time at USC that he was head and shoulders above every other offensive tackle prospect in the nation, and some of the experts have him graded the same (or higher) as current Cleveland Browns' offensive tackle Joe Thomas, who has developed into one of the NFL's elite left tackles. Not only would this serve to protect Ponder, it would also help to open holes in the running game for Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, particularly if the former is slow in coming back from the torn ACL that he suffered on Christmas Eve against the Washington Redskins.

While Blackmon or Claiborne would be a fine pick for the Vikings as well, the ripple effect of improvement that Kalil would have on the Minnesota offense makes him too good to pass up with the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Daily Norseman is incredibly thorough and detail-oriented when making their selections, exactly the kind of analysis you want when looking at a mock draft. Great pick.

For more news and notes on the Vikings offseason, including free agency, the draft and upcoming training camp, make sure that you head on over to The Daily Norseman. For more discussion and analysis of the draft in general, ensure that you take a peep at Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Minnesota Vikings Pick Matt Kalil

The Minnesota Vikings could use an offensive tackle to try and protect their quarterback. Right now the Vikings could afford more human shields, ranked dead last in adjusted sack rate last season. Minnesota needs someone to protect Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, or whoever gets the starting job.

With Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III likely to be taken with the first two picks in the NFL Draft, left tackle Matt Kalil of the USC Trojans is right there to be selected to the team that wants him at the third spot, which is currently held by the Vikings. DraftTek has the Vikings taking Kalil in their latest overall mock.

With Rick Spielman and the Vikings desperately trying to drum up trade talk, this week openly telling any media outlet he could find that the Vikings are willing to trade while on the clock, one can assume they recognize the multitude of holes on the roster. By orchestrating a trade, Spielman might be able to pick up a few extra picks to fill those holes. But with ten picks in hand, I don't see the need for the Vikings to get too cute, losing out on a talent like Kalil at a key spot like OT.

To discuss the prospect of drafting Kalil with Vikings fans, hit up Daily Norseman. To talk about how good Kalil is with USC football fans, go to Conquest Chronicles. Check out Mocking the Draft to find out more about mock drafts. Learn more about Kalil from Pacific Takes as well.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Kalil Picked By Minnesota Vikings

USC Trojans left tackle Matt Kalil isn't as much of a sure thing as Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, at least when it comes to the draft order. There's a good chance a team will try and take a look at another one of the many talented athletes out there, even if you have a bona fide prospect like Kalil who could probably be a surefire starter on either side the moment he suits up for his NFL team.

Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation files his latest mock, and for now Kalil sticks at three with the Vikings.

Sometimes I wonder if the Vikings will take a different player here. Trading down is a possibility, depending on how badly some team wants Claiborne or Richardson ... or even, you know, the best offensive tackle in years.


To talk about Kalil with Vikings fans, head on over to Daily Norseman. To discuss how good Kalil is with the USC fans who've watched him for ages,
go to Conquest Chronicles. To learn more about mock drafts in general, head to Mocking The Draft.

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NFL Draft 2012, Matt Kalil: USC OT Likely To Be Selected By Vikings

The 2012 NFL Draft is less than a month away. Top offensive tackle Matt Kalil of the USC Trojans likely has many teams interested, but only one will be able to claim him.

The latest mock draft over at Draft Tek suggests that the Minnesota Vikings will select Kalil as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Here is their analysis:

As discussed last week, Justin Blackmon seems to be gaining support among Viking faithful. I'm definitely a fan of Blackmon and would love to see him in purple, I just can't see how the Vikings would take the playmaking receiver when the O-line hasn't proven to be consistently capable of protecting QB Christian Ponder long enough for plays to develop. In other words, build the line first and take Kalil! Let's see what Ponder can do with a decent OL.

It has been expected for some time that the Vikings would look to beef up their offensive line by adding Kalil.

For updates and perspective on the USC Trojans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. For all news and information regarding the Minnesota Vikings, please visit the Daily Norseman. For lots more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Minnesota Vikings Take Matt Kalil

Matt Kalil of the USC Trojans is going to be thought of a lot because of his great pass protection abilities. In the NFL, a good left tackle is essential to keeping the passing game going against the best defenses, or otherwise the team's chances suffer. With two potential franchise quarterbacks awaiting in this year's draft, Kalil is the convenient third choice.

Don Banks of Sports Illustrated released his latest mock draft, and it has the Vikings picking Kalil. Banks explains his pick.

I'm sure the Vikings would love it if the Dolphins took the bait and traded up past No. 4 Cleveland to ensure they get Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but I think it's still wish list stuff, rather than a likely scenario. If the Vikings sit tight, Kalil still makes the most sense. If you're going to develop young quarterback Christian Ponder, it would help to protect him.


To discuss how good Kalil is with the USC football fans that have watched him the past several seasons, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. To find out more about Vikings fans and what they really think about Kalil, check out Daily Norseman. Mock drafts should be talked about more thoroughly at Mocking the Draft.

You should be able to view and subscribe to the 2012 NFL Draft YouTube channel below.

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Mel Kiper Mock Draft: Matt Kalil To The Minnesota Vikings

USC left tackle Matt Kalil is rated just behind the top quarterbacks of this year's 2012 NFL Draft as the most sure thing on the board, and you have to figure he's going to be the guy most likely to be picked in the top five, most likely as the third pick behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. You just can't pass up on a left tackle when he's available.

Mel Kiper releases his latest mock draft, which you should be able to view on ESPN Insider. And he concurs: Kalil and the Vikings are the natural match for each other.

This is one more I'm going to stick with. We know Minnesota needs an upgrade at left tackle, and Kalil is that rare rookie who doesn't need to spend some time on the right side. I think he can start his NFL career at left tackle and hold the position down, even though he'll face some serious competition in terms of NFC North pass-rushers. This pick is about giving Christian Ponder a chance to be successful.

To talk about Kalil with USC football fans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Kalil with Vikings fans, check out Daily Norseman. Mock drafts should be talked about more thoroughly at Mocking the Draft.

You should be able to view and subscribe to the 2012 NFL Draft YouTube channel below.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: St. Louis Rams Take USC OT Matt Kalil With No. 6 Overall Pick, According To SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber

Now here's an interesting turn of events.

After weeks of having USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil in the three spot heading to the Minnesota Vikings, SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber has shaken things up in his latest NFL Mock Draft which has Kalil dropping to the sixth pick overall to the St. Louis Rams.

The Rams would jump for the joy if this scenario were to actually play out. The Rams, as many know, traded down to the sixth pick in exchange for the entire Washington Redskins franchise, two Starbucks and a lifetime supply of Tyler Perry films. Not really, but they got a lot to drop only four spots. And if the Rams were to still end up with Kalil, a top three type of talent, it would look like an even bigger get for the Rams.

Kalil would help solidify an offensive line that hasn't realized yet that their purpose is to keep quarterback Sam Bradford upright. Kalil would automatically have a best friend on the team in Bradford if only just for his presence.

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Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Projected to Jaguars

The good people over at Mocking the Draft have released their newest mock draft and in it, they project that USC T Matt Kalil will head east to protect the blindside for Blaine Gabbert (or, whoever wins their QB battle, I suppose). Per Brad Wells, Jacksonville will choose Matt Kalil with the 8th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft:

Matt Kalil | Offensive tackle | Southern California: After owner Shahid Khan all but hamstrung the front office with the botched attempt to trade for Tim Tebow, Jags G.M. Gene Smith practically falls out of his chair while reaching for the phone and screaming into the mouthpiece, "WRITE KALIL ON THE CARD, DAMMIT!" Kalil is a superb left tackle prospect and will make everyone forget that Smith wasted a first rounder on Eugene Monroe just four seasons ago.

Kalil is one of the best tackle prospects in recent memory and would be integral in the development of Gabbert, a QB Jacksonville is hoping will improve after a shaky first seasons. Having time to throw the football and trusting that you're not going to get blindsided is certainly good for a quarterback's psyche.

To talk about Kalil with USC football fans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. Mock drafts should be talked about more thoroughly at Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Todd McShay Has Matt Kalil Picked By Minnesota Vikings

It's starting to feel like almost a formality that Matt Kalil will be the third pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. There's plenty of debate about who will be picked one or two between Andrew Luck of the Stanford Cardinal and Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears. The USC Trojans left tackle is almost certainly next up. When you have a bona fide left tackle who can come in and produce for you right up top, you might as well draft him.

Todd McShay of ESPN released his latest mock draft (you can view it here if you have an ESPN Insider account), and he, just like everyone else, has Kalil ending up with the team with the third pick, the Minnesota Vikings.

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The most complete tackle I have evaluated in my time scouting prospects, Kalil has the athleticism to excel as a pass-blocker and the mean streak to be a force in the running game.

To talk about Kalil with USC football fans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Kalil with Vikings fans, check out Daily Norseman. Mock drafts should be talked about more thoroughly at Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Minnesota Vikings And Matt Kalil The Perfect Match

The Minnesota Vikings need a left tackle to protect their blind side for their quarterback. Right now their pass protection is perhaps the weakest part of their team, ranked dead last in adjusted sack rate last season. Minnesota needs someone to protect Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, or whoever is the man starting under center this September.

Guess who will be available with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III likely to be the first two picks? Left tackle Matt Kalil of the USC Trojans is right there to be selected to the team that wants him at the third spot, currently held by the Vikings.

The latest 2012 NFL Mock draft by SB Nation was released, and Ryan Van Bibber has this report.

Smoke alert! Smoke alert! The Vikings have made public intimations about Morris Claiborne and Justin Blackmon. Passing on a left tackle of this caliber would be foolish.

To talk about Kalil with Vikings fans, hit up Daily Norseman. To discuss Kalil with USC fans, check out Conquest Chronicles. To learn about mock drafts, check out Mocking The Draft. To see a feature of Kalil's skills in action, hit up Pacific Takes.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Will Minnesota Vikings Pick Morris Claiborne, Pass On Matt Kalil?

Whoever has the third pick in the 2012 NFL Draft will almost certainly pick one of the best pro prospects in the last few years in Matt Kalil. When there's a left tackle out there who looks as solid as can be, you generally have to pick him.

For whatever reason, the Minnesota Vikings have the third pick overall, but might not want Kalil anyway. DraftTek still has Kalil going third overall, but Minnesota's general manager seems reticent to picking Kalil, instead perhaps looking at a skill position player. Bob Sansevere of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press has more.

After listening to the Spielman spiel, this much appears certain: If he keeps the third pick and passes on Kalil, Spielman will draft LSU cornerback Mo Claiborne. He raved more about Claiborne than Kalil.

If the Vikings were to deal the pick, there are plenty of teams like the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Bucs and St. Louis Rams who might be interested, perhaps even teams further down the line. But the Vikings could use a left tackle to protect Christian Ponder, which makes the situation all the stranger.

To discuss Kalil with USC fans, go to Conquest Chronicles. Check out the NFL Draft Overall rankings over at Mocking The Draft. To talk about the third pick with Minnesota Vikings fans, go to Daily Norseman. To see a feature of Kalil's skills in action, hit up Pacific Takes.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil To Vikings, Nick Perry To Bears, According to Pro Football Talk

With the NFL Draft inching closer by the day, many wonder where former USC Trojans Matt Kalil and Nick Perry will end playing with on Sundays next season in the NFL.

Well, according to Evan Silva and NBC's Pro Football Talk and their first edition of a 2012 Mock Draft both of them are first round picks, with Kalil going third overall to the Minnesota Vikings and Perry heading to the Windy City to join the Chicago Bears.

Silva notes that the Vikings most glaring area of need is at left tackle, and Kalil is seen by many as the best tackle in this draft class, meaning this could be a match made in heaven for them. With Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III likely going No. 1 and 2, this is one of the more logical fits in this years draft.

As for Perry, some have felt he'd be a better fit elsewhere but Silva likes him going to Chicago, noting that he and defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will be a good fit.

For more on where these former Trojans might land, make sure to check out Conquest Chronicles, SB Nation's dedicated USC blog.

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NFL Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Goes Third To Minnesota Vikings In SB Nation Mock Draft

With free agency impacting how teams go about the draft, draft gurus can sometimes be all over the place with who they think will land in certain places. But at the top of the draft, more of a consensus is coming together.

No. 1 Andrew Luck. No. 2 Robert Griffin III. And no. 3? USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil.

In SB Nation's latest mock draft, they have Kalil going third to the Minnesota Vikings. In his own interesting way, SB Nation's Ryan Van Bibber breaks down how the Vikings and Detroit Lions have switched places in the world order of the NFL and how it is time for the Vikings to get back to making the right decisions.

It starts with Kalil.

Van Bibber calls Kalil the best offensive tackle prospect since Jake Long and someone who could be a franchise cornerstone. He does have doubts whether or not the Vikings will pull the trigger due to their recent decisions (John Carlson?) but he hopes that they won't pass up on a talent like Kalil who plays a position every team needs solidified before making any major progress in the right direction.

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NFL Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Projected Third To Minnesota Vikings After Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III

The 2012 NFL Draft is still a bit over a month away, but the top of the first round is starting to take form. Most analysts project the Indianapolis Colts to select Andrew Luck with the first pick, with Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III going second to the Washington Redskins, who traded a boatload to St. Louis for that second pick. That leaves USC Trojans All-American left tackle Matt Kalil as the consensus third pick.

Kalil is slated to be picked third by the Minnesota Vikings by both Rob Rang and Dane Brugler of CBS Sports. Kalil anchored a USC offensive line that saw Matt Barkley sacked just eight times, with Kalil allowing none himself.

"The younger brother of [Ryan Kalil] the Pro Bowl center in Carolina, Kalil has a similar skill-set to Joe Thomas and will be able to start from Day One, protecting Christian Ponder's blind side," wrote Brugler. "While it's not set in stone until the Commissioner steps to the podium, it would be a shock if the Vikings don't take the USC tackle with this pick."

For all news and information regarding USC athletics, please visit Conquest Chronicles. To discuss the NFL Draft in general, see what's going on at Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Draft Trade: Redskins-Rams Deal Solidifies Matt Kalil No. 3 To Minnesota Vikings

The first major deal for the 2012 NFL Draft was reportedly made on Friday night and it involved the Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams. While neither of these were directly linked to the Los Angeles teams, it does signify something: with Robert Griffin III heading to the Redskins with the No. 2 overall pick, Matt Kalil is the heavy favorite to be selected third overall by the Minnesota Vikings.

Jay Glazer of FOX Sports tweeted the news just moments ago:

Major scoopage: Redskins have agreed to a trade w Rams for #2 pick of draft. Rams and Skins swap first rounders this yr w Rams also getting 2 future #1s and additional picks. Story coming on fox sports dot com

Many mock drafts had Kalil heading north to Minnesota and this all-but-confirms those projections. There is still some time left before the 2012 NFL Draft, but it's probably safe for the former USC Trojans standout to start checking the housing market in Minneapolis.

For more on Kalil and all-things USC Trojans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. Vikings fans should head on over to Daily Norseman.

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NFL Draft 2012, Matt Kalil Speaks At USC Trojans Pro Day

The USC Trojans held their annual Pro Day on Wednesday on campus in Los Angeles, with several NFL hopefuls showing their skills to interested pro football parties. None of the participants in the Trojans' pro day are as highly touted as All-American left tackle Matt Kalil, who is expected to be picked in the top two to five picks in April's NFL Draft.

Kalil said he has been training hard this offseason, working with his brother, All-Pro center Ryan Kalil of the Carolina Panthers. The younger Kalil is expected to be the top offensive lineman drafted.

As for what team, Kalil doesn't care. "Anything can happen on draft day. Whoever drafts me, I'm going to work my butt off to earn a starting spot, and bring whatever I can to that team," he said.

Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry, both junior entrants in the NFL draft, did not participate in every test on Wednesday as they both excelled at the combine. But both took part in individual drills.

For all news and information regarding USC athletics, please visit Conquest Chronicles.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Rams Take USC OT Matt Kalil In First Round

The 2012 NFL Combine in Indianapolis gave everyone a new perspective on the college football players entering this year's draft. Everyone from NFL scouts and officials on down to the spectators at home got to see, first-hand, how each of the prospects performed. The first mock drafts following the NFL Combine are beginning to circulate. Let's see what they're saying about USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil.


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Mock draft website Draft Tek released their first post-combine analysis this week. They project that Kalil will be selected in the first round by the St. Louis Rams, as the No. 2 overall pick.

Pick #2 is where the 2012 NFL Draft will begin (assuming Irsay is dumb like a country fox and will take Luck). Barring a team offering a king's ransom of draft picks for RG3, the safest and most value-oriented pick is the Trojan Tackle. Kalil is the best left tackle in the draft and has answered questions about his athleticism during the Combine (there was some thought that he was just a technician and had reached his ceiling). The Rams gave up 55 sacks last season with injuries and poor play plaguing the team all season. The Rams need more than just one OL . . . Kalil is plug-n-play ready to start at left tackle, Saffold could move back to right tackle, Jason Smith could move inside to guard leaving the Rams choices to fill the holes (currently Jacob Bell and Jason Brown). The Rams have over $50 million in cap room with 21 unrestricted free agents in the biggest pool in NFL history. The possibilities are endless but it all starts with protecting your franchise, Sam Bradford.

The consensus is that, barring the Rams trading away their draft pick for a boatload of incentives to a team that desperately wants to ensure they'll be able to draft Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, Kalil will either go to the Rams as the No. 2 pick or to the Minnesota Vikings as No. 3.

To talk about Kalil with USC football fans, check out Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Kalil and how he'd fit with the Rams, look to Turf Show Times. To discuss the NFL Draft in general, see what's going on at Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Selected By Minnesota Vikings In First Round

There is very little doubt that Matt Kalil is the best offensive line prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft and he impressed every scout in attendance at the Combine last week. Gifted with size, strength and a high football IQ, Kalil will likely provide whichever team drafts him with a capable offensive tackle for the next decade or so.

The latest mock draft from FOX Sports and Peter Schrager has Kalil going No. 3 overall to the Minnesota Vikings, right behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil, OT, USC: Vikings general manager Rick Spielman went above and beyond to stress that they were sticking with Christian Ponder as their quarterback, despite the heinous fashion in which he ended the 2011 season.

Minnesota's in a good spot, here, with the third pick because they desperately need help at offensive tackle, too.

Kalil, the younger brother of Panthers center Ryan Kalil, is an All-American tackle who flat-out dominated the competition in the Pac-12 last season. He's a 6-foot-7, 305-pound pass protector who has surprisingly quick feet. He's the top tackle in this draft, and that's not even debatable.

I think he'll be protecting the blind side of the Vikings QB - whomever that may be - for many years to come.

There has been some talk that the Vikings could deal their first round pick, although it is very unlikely Kalil will fall anywhere lower than the third pick. Some team, somewhere in the league, won't be able to pass on the former-Trojans standout at the 2012 NFL Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Minnesota Vikings Take Matt Kalil

The Minnesota Vikings seem to be in a solid spot in the third position. Right now Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are the top two guys available, and with the Indianapolis Colts locked into the top position and the St. Louis Rams shopping the second pick, it's looking the quarterbacks will be the ones who go first.

So while the teams above them debate and quibble, the Minnesota Vikings are ready to swoop in and pick the next surest thing at a position of great need. Ryan Van Bibber of SB Nation released his latest mock draft, and it has Matt Kalil of the USC Trojans being the pick to give Christian Ponder his blind side protector.

Beyond Luck and Griffin, Kalil is the only other kind of building block player in this draft. He ran the 40 in under 5 seconds; he weighs 306 pounds. The Vikings' quarterbacks will feel safe and warm for years to come with Kalil protecting their blind side.

To talk about Kalil on the Vikings, check out Daily Norseman. To discuss Kalil with USC football fans, go to Conquest Chronicles. To talk about NFL mock drafts in general, head to Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Combine Schedule And Preview: Marc Tyler, Rhett Ellison Participate In Sunday Drills

The 2012 NFL Combine in Indianapolis continues on Sunday, which is likely to be the most stacked day of them all. Running backs, wide receivers and quarterbacks will all have their on-field drills before heading out of town. All eyes will be on this group, which will include two USC Trojans players.

RB Marc Tyler and fullback Rhett Ellison will be trying to put on a show and present their best possible times in an attempt to boost their stock in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft. The day's workouts also include top names like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

Here's the full schedule for all groups. You can watch the majority of the action for this year's NFL Combine on the NFL Network or streaming live at NFL.com.

Sunday

Group 4 (QB, WR), Group 5 (QB, WR), Group 6 (RB)

Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), departure from Indianapolis

Group 7 (DL), Group 8 (DL), Group 9 (LB)

NFLPA Meeting, psychological testing, interviews

Group 10 (DB), Group 11 (DB)

Measurements, medical examinations, media, psychological testing, interviews

And here is the TV schedule on NFL Network:

Sunday, February 26
9:00 AM - Workouts: Running Backs, Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers - LIVE
(Encores with cut-down versions at 8:00 PM & 12 Midnight)
7:00 PM - NFL Total Access: 2012 NFL Scouting Combine
(Encores at 11:00 PM)
STARTING AT 9:00 AM - NFL.com LIVE: Complete, all-access coverage of group workouts

You can find the full list of players invited to the 2012 NFL Combine via the NFL Combine's official website.

To talk about Tyler, Ellison, Kalil and USC football, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. To discuss the NFL Combine in general, best to check out Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Combine Schedule And Preview: Matt Kalil Wraps Up Workouts And Drills On Saturday

The USC Trojans have a handful of players in Indianapolis, participating in the 2012 NFL Combine. Saturday, the players will all continue the process and will each face a full day of activities.

For Matt Kalil, the projected overall No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, knocked out his bench press drill on Saturday, finished towards the top of the pack among his group pairing of offensive linemen, special teams and tight ends. On Saturday, he'll be right back at it, performing his timing, stations and skill drills before wrapping everything up and heading back home.

For running back Marc Tyler and fullback Rhett Ellison, Saturday will consist of an NFL Players Association meeting, psychological testing and interviews

Here's the full schedule for all groups. You can watch the majority of the action for this year's NFL Combine on the NFL Network or streaming live at NFL.com.

Saturday

Group 1 (P/K, ST, OL), Group 2 (OL), Group 3 (TE)

Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), departure from Indianapolis

Group 4 (QB, WR), Group 5 (QB, WR), Group 6 (RB)

NFLPA Meeting, psychological testing, interviews

Group 7 (DL), Group 8 (DL), Group 9 (LB)

Measurements, medical examinations, media, psychological testing, interviews

Group 10 (DB), Group 11 (DB)

Travel to Indianapolis, registration, hospital pre-exam and X-rays, orientation, interviews

To talk about Tyler, Ellison, Kalil and USC football, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. To discuss the NFL Combine in general, best to check out Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Combine 2012: Marc Tyler, Rhett Ellison Set For Measurements On Friday

The USC Trojans have a lot of great talents that will be available in the 2012 NFL Draft, but only a handful of them will be there Friday. Friday will see the beginning of examinations for quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs and the school will have players participating in them.

Trojans running back Marc Tyler and fullback Rhett Ellison are a part of this group who will go through the process of getting various measurements, medical examinations, performing media, taking psychological testing and doing interviews with teams and NFL professionals.

This group won't get to the on-field assessments until Sunday. Saturday will consist of an NFLPA meeting, psychological testing and, of course, more interviews. It's a long weekend for these guys and it's only just starting.

To talk about Tyler, Ellison and USC football, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. To discuss the NFL Combine in general, best to check out Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Combine 2012 Results: Matt Kalil Measurements

Matt Kalil seems to be a surefire top prospect, as he probably could be the top left tackle in the 2012 NFL Draft. And when you're the top left tackle available, you're almost certain to be drafted fairly high.

Kalil was measured at the 2012 NFL Combine this year. WalterFootball is reporting on the new measurements coming in for the former USC offensive lineman. Kalil is measured at 6'6.5", or about six feet, six-and-a-half-inches tall. That's about typical height for a solid left tackle anchor, and someone you can expect to fill in the necessary requirements to be a great LT.

Kalil's weight is listed at 306 pounds, with a wingspan of 34 1/2 inches. He's pretty much got your protoypical left tackle dimensions locked down. Good start to the

To talk about Kalil and USC football, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. To discuss the NFL Combine in general, best to check out Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Looking To Solidify Spot At NFL Combine

The 2012 NFL Draft is still two months away but there is very little doubt about one thing: Matt Kalil is one of the best offensive line prospect to come out in quite some time. The former standout with the USC Trojans is a projected top-five pick by just about every mock draft, although there has been some question surrounding which team will end up selecting him due to potential trades.

The latest mock draft from SB Nation takes a look at Kalil and where he stands heading into the 2012 NFL Combine:

3. Minnesota Vikings, Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Kalil still has improvements to make in his game. Even with some professional growth ahead of him, he is still the best offensive tackle in the draft. His natural ability in pass protection will improve the life of Vikings' quarterbacks considerably. As he learns the fine art of run blocking in the NFL, he should round into Pro Bowl shape.

There is a growing belief that some team will trade up with the Rams to draft Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick, which would likely send Kalil to the Vikings. Just about every team in the top-10 could be looking for offensive line help and yet another trade to acquire the massive offensive tackle is not out of the question, either.

There is little chance that Kalil could lose his spot among the other offensive line prospects, but a strong showing at the 2012 Combine certainly couldn't hurt his stock moving forward.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: USC Trojans OT Matt Kalil To St. Louis Rams

The 2012 NFL Draft is still a ways away, but USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil has been projected as the top offensive lineman in this year's class for well over a year now.

In the latest mock draft over at Draft Tek, St, Louis Rams analyst Robert Occhipinti suggests that the Rams will select Kalil as the second overall pick in the draft, behind Andrew Luck.

The 2012 NFL Draft will have its share of trades and surprises, perhaps more this year than any other after a 2011 off season filled with uncertainty. This pick could start the fireworks with the Rams reportedly already discussing trade with the Redskins for the chance to draft either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. Right now let's concentrate on the Rams keeping the pick and taking the best player available, Matt Kalil, at the postion of greatest need, protector of Sam Bradford's blind side. Matt Kalil spent two years doing just that for Matt Barkley at USC, allowing just 26 sacks in 25 games for one of the better passing offenses in college football. Kalil has the size and technique to quickly become a Pro Bowl caliber tackle at the next level, something the Rams haven't had since Orlando Pace. Should the Rams keep this pick, Matt Kalil would be the man to change that.

It remains to see where the impressive young tackle will end up, but he figures to be selected in the top three of the draft no matter what happens.

To talk about Kalil with USC football fans, check out Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Kalil and how he'd fit with the Rams, look to Turf Show Times. To discuss the NFL Draft in general, see what's going on at Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Slotted In Between Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III

It seems no matter how many mock drafts there are, most if not all slate former USC Trojans All-American left tackle Matt Kalil as the top offensive lineman to be taken in the 2012 NFL Draft. Looking at the latest mock drafts at CBS Sports by Rob Rang and Dan Brugler, Kalil is slated either No. 2 or No. 3, in both cases in between quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

Brugler projects Kalil to be picked second overall by the St. Louis Rams but he admits there is some apprehension. "St. Louis will have a new front office, meaning a change at quarterback is not out of the question," Brugler said. "However, the Rams are expected to stick with Sam Bradford and focus on the numerous other needs on the roster."

Kalil was part of a USC offensive line that saw quarterback Matt Barkley sacked just eight games in 12 games, and Kalil himself allowed zero sacks. Rang has the Rams taking wide receiver Justin Blackmon, with Kalil falling the Minnesota Vikings at No. 3.

"Considering the pass rushers in the NFC North division, high-caliber blindside tackles are required. The Vikings aren't likely to pass on an opportunity to draft a future Pro Bowler. That's exactly what Kalil represents," said Rang.

For all news and information regarding USC athletics, please visit Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Matt Kalil potentially becoming a Minnesota Viking, please visit the Daily Norseman. For more on Kalil to the Rams, be sure to read Turf Show Times.

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Mel Kiper Mock Draft 2012: Vikings Select Matt Kalil, OT, USC in First Round

ESPN's Mel Kiper has been busy studying film of countless college football players looking to make it big in the NFL, and in his 2.0 version of his mock draft has USC's Matt Kalil heading to the Minnesota Vikings for their first round pick, third pick overall.

Here is Kiper's analysis of the Vikings pick:

Minnesota Vikings Record: 3-13 Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Vikings need to upgrade at left tackle, and Kalil is the rare one who could step into that position right away at the NFL level. Great feet, arm length, athleticism and finishing skills as a run-blocker make him a very complete prospect. I can see the Vikings tempted if Blackmon is around here, which he very well could be, because they're also lacking weapons in the passing game. They could also go for a cornerback. It'll be one of three, all top needs.

Kalil is almost guaranteed to be an impact player in the NFL, and LT is a big area of improvement needed for Minnesota. Kiper noted Justin Blackmon might tempt them for this pick, but the fact of the matter is that the Vikings have playmakers in Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson on offense, but need a guy like Kalil to help them have the ability to make the plays.

For more on Kalil, head over to Conquest Chronicles. Fore more on the draft in general, head over to Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Selected By Minnesota Vikings

Matt Kalil, formerly of the USC Trojans, is one of the best offensive linemen prospects to enter the NFL Draft in the last decade. Gifted with size, speed and a high football IQ, many feel Kalil will be a stud left tackle at the next level for many years to come. First, he'll need a team to select him in the 2012 NFL Draft, where he is a consensus top-three overall pick.

This latest mock draft from SB Nation has Kalil heading north to play with the Minnesota Vikings next season.

3. Minnesota Vikings, Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Kalil is the best left tackle in the draft since Jake Long in 2008. He's a natural in pass protection, and should make life much easier for Christian Ponder in Week 1. Kalil needs to hone his run blocking before ascending to the class of elite of elite linemen.

There are quite a few mock drafts with Kalil going No. 2 overall to the Rams, but there continues to be a belief that some team -- whether it be the Dolphins, Redskins, Browns or someone else is unknown -- will make a move up the draft boards to take Robert Griffin III with the second pick. That would likely move Kalil down a slot, sending him to Minnesota where he would immediately bolster an aging offensive line that needs to protect Christian Ponder.

For more on the Trojans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Trojans OT Matt Kalil To Vikings In First Round

USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil is the consensus pick as the top player at his position in the 2012 NFL Draft. Were it not for a quarterback by the name of Andrew Luck, there is a very real possibility that Kalil would wind up as the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft. As it is, Kalil still figures to draft very high, with most analysts agreeing that he will be picked in the top three.

In their latest mock draft, Walter Football predicts Kalil will be selected at No. 3 overall in the first round, going to the Minnesota Vikings. Here is what they have to say:

This really is as much of a no-brainer as Andrew Luck to the Colts. If Matt Kalil is on the board, the Vikings won't spend two minutes handing in their draft card. Of course, I won't be happy about this because I won't have enough time to write stupid things in my live draft blog.

Kalil is the best non-quarterback in this class, and Minnesota has a major need at left tackle, where the pedestrian Charlie Johnson has sucked all year. The Vikings absolutely need to make sure Christian Ponder is well protected.

Whichever team ultimately selects Kalil, their offensive line will be instantly improved.

For all news and information regarding USC athletics, please visit Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Matt Kalil potentially becoming a Minnesota Viking, please visit the Daily Norseman.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Kalil Projects As Top Lineman Taken, No. 2 Or No. 3

The 2012 NFL Draft doesn't begin until April 26, but the one thing we think we know for sure is that quarterback Andrew Luck appears headed to the Indianapolis Colts as the number one pick. After that, Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III is in the mix for the No. 2 pick, but it may depend on whether or not a team trades up into that spot. USC Trojans All-American left tackle Matt Kalil will likely be the top offensive lineman taken in the draft, and could go as high as No. 2 overall.

In a pair of mock drafts on CBS Sports, Kalil is projected to be picked either second or third. Dane Brugler has Kalil going No. 2 overall to the St. Louis Rams, noting, "With the Jason Smith selection (No. 2 overall pick in 2009) looking like a dud, St. Louis will have a tough time passing on Southern California tackle Matt Kalil."

Analyst Rob Rang has wide receiver Justin Blackmon getting picked second by St. Louis, with Kalil falling to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 3. "The Vikings aren't likely to pass on an opportunity to draft a future Pro Bowler," said Rang. "Scouts would like to see Kalil play with more consistent technique, but he's been able to dominate at the collegiate level based only on his size (6-6, 295) and athleticism."

For more on Kalil and the USC Trojans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. To talk about the NFL Draft in general, head on over to Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Draft: USC Trojans Pro Day March 7th

The NFL combine runs February 22-28 this year out in Indianapolis, and the ever exciting Pro Day season starts only a few days later on March 1.

The USC Trojans get their Pro Day underway on March 7, and have a boatload of talented guys taking part for scouts form across the NFL. Guys like running back Marc Tyler, fullback/ tight end Rhett Ellison, linebacker Chris Galippo, defensive tackle DaJohn Harris, left tackle Matt Kalil, defensive end Nick Perry, and defensive tackle Christian Tupou have all been invited to the combine. But It's a great place for players like wide receiver Brandon Carswell to show off his stuff:

"I still have that mentality that I'll go in and do the dirty work," Carswell said. "Hopefully I can show off my pass-catching skills too."

Pro Day workouts will be held on campus, complete with the the same athletic drills as the NFL Combine (40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump etc.), only without the medical testing and personal interviews.

For more on Trojans Pro Day head over to Conquest Chronicles. For more on the NFL Draft, check out Mocking the Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Kalil Falls, Lands With Washington Redskins

There have been very few offensive line prospects that have as much talent and upside as Matt Kalil. A star offensive tackle that played three seasons with the USC Trojans, Kalil is now looking to take his football career even further. He projects to be a top-three pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and the most recent mock draft from NFL Draft Update has him going No. 3 overall behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.

3. Minnesota Vikings: OT Matt Kalil, USC

-Charlie Johnson is not a cornerstone LT, but Matt Kalil is. The Vikings would like to trade out of this pick, but with RG3 off the board, they opt to solidify Christian Ponder's blindside.

It makes a lot of sense for the Vikings to bolster their front line as they continue to develop Ponder, but many are unsure that Kalil will be on the board by the time the No. 3 pick rolls around. The St. Louis Rams are known to be very interested in Kalil and only a trade would likely allow Kalil to slip any further than the top-two spots.

For more on Kalil and the USC Trojans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil To St. Louis Rams

USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil has been considered the next sure thing behind Andrew Luck. Kalil is a bona fide NFL left tackle, and he's expected to be one of those guys who could play a decade in the league if he stays healthy. After the Indianapolis Colts take Luck first, the St. Louis Rams are a pretty good beat to invest in the Trojan.

Draft Tek's latest mock seems to agree with this viewpoint, as Kalil is just too good to pass up with the second pick.

The Rams line gave up 55 sacks in 2011, or 11 more than the USC line gave up in the 3 years Kalil was at USC (over 38 games). Kalil would be able to slide in at left tackle, moving Rodger Saffold to right tackle adding depth and providing much needed protection for Sam Bradford on the blind side. There is still the potential for the Rams to trade this pick for much needed additional picks to fill the holes at WR, both lines, secondary and linebacking corps. Justin Blackmon, who could immediately give Sam Bradford a star quality talent at WR, is also an option provided the Rams can shore up the line in free agency prior to the draft - Robert Occhipinti, Rams Drafttek Analyst

It's hard to say what would dissuade the Rams from taking Kalil. Perhaps a big athletic wide receiver or taking a risk on another quarterback, but it's hard to picture it being anyone but Kalil.

To talk about Kalil with USC football fans, check out Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Kalil and how he'd fit with the Rams, look to Turf Show Times. To discuss the NFL Draft in general, see what's going on at Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Remains Top Offensive Lineman, Selected By St. Louis Rams

The 2012 NFL Draft is right around the corner and the top prospects in the country and busily preparing for the NFL Combine to showcase their skills. One of the top prospects on every draft board is USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil, who is projected for the top-three overall picks by most. In this latest update from our very own SB Nation mock draft, Kalil will be headed to St. Louis in April.

2. St. Louis Rams, Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Head coach Jeff Fisher and his offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer both made it pretty clear that pass protection is a top priority for rejuvenating quarterback Sam Bradford and the Rams offense. Drafting Kalil gives them an elite pass blocker ready to go on day one. The Rams could still trade this pick, but with Washington looking like a suitor for Peyton Manning, Miami making eyes at Matt Flynn and Cleveland possibly having second thoughts about giving up draft picks, St. Louis may not have much of a market for their pick.

One of the biggest story lines of the 2012 NFL Draft will be the amount of moves made on the opening night. Not only are many teams looking for a quarterback -- most likely Robert Griffin III -- but some may also attempt to move up and select a dynamic wide receiver in the mold of Justin Blackmon. Should a team offer the Rams a big haul for their No. 2 overall pick, Kalil could possibly slide down a few selections due to a lack of team need.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Todd McShay Projects Matt Kalil To St. Louis Rams

The 2012 NFL Draft is right around the corner and former USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil appears to be a consensus top-three draft pick. While many have Kalil going to the Minnesota Vikings, Todd McShay of ESPN has him going No. 2 overall to the St. Louis Rams. Some believe it makes sense to get quarterback Sam Bradford a target to throw to in the mold of Justin Blackmon, but it's tough to move the ball without a strong offensive line up front.

2. Matt Kalil*, OT, USC

Rams QB Sam Bradford (No 1 overall, 2010) needs better protection to reach his full potential. Current St. Louis LOT Jason Smith has fallen short of expectations after being taken second overall in 2009, and with Kalil's size, athleticism and nasty disposition he is ready to take over at left tackle from the first day of training camp.

The thought of a start blindside tackle has to be very appealing to the Rams and Sam Bradford, and it would potentially work wonders for aging running back Steven Jackson, as well. In addition to wide receiver, there is also a chance St. Louis deals this pick, especially if a team has a serious interest in Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Stay tuned for complete coverage of the 2012 NFL Draft and where Matt Kalil is projected to go. Head on over to Conquest Chronicles to discuss the Trojans.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Minnesota Vikings Select Matt Kalil No. 3

If there is one that is clear after looking at several iterations of 2012 NFL mock drafts, it is that USC Trojans left tackle extraordinaire will be the first offensive lineman taken in the draft, and likely in the top five. That means the All-American junior made the right call financially to turn pro and forgo his senior season with Matt Barkley and company. In the latest mock draft at SB Nation, Kalil is projected to be selected third overall by the Minnesota Vikings.

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck is projected by Ryan Van Bibber to be picked first overall by the Indianapolis Colts, with Heisman Trophy winner and Baylor Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III getting picked second by the Washington Redskins, after a trade with the St. Louis Rams.

Of Kalil, Van Bibber wrote, "Kalil is ready-made to start on the left side. Like all rookies, savvy veteran pass rushers will get the better of him from time to time, but it represents a big upgrade for the Vikings." Kalil led a dominant offensive line for the Trojans in 2011 that allowed just eight sacks of Barkley all season, and Kalil himself allowed none.

For all news and information regarding USC athletics, please visit Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Matt Kalil potentially becoming a Minnesota Viking, please visit the Daily Norseman.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: More And More Analysts Predicting Matt Kalil To Vikings

USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil is one of the very top prospects in the 2012 NFL Draft. The analysts and evaluators seem to fall into one of two camps where Kalil is concerned: those that think the Trojans player will be drafted No. 2 overall by the St. Louis Rams and those that think he will be selected as the No. 3 overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings.

In their latest mock draft, ProFootballWeekly.com falls into the latter camp of analysts. Nolan Nawrocki predicts that Kalil will go to the Vikings. Here is his take.

After Bryant McKinnie was sent packing, Charlie Johnson stepped into the starting lineup and servicably got through the season, but the chance to land a premium left tackle does not come along often, and Kalil can protect Christian Ponder's blind side for years to come - a safe way for GM Rick Spielman to protect his investment in the team's quarterback of the future.

As it appears more likely that the Rams may trade their No. 2 selection to a team trying to ensure they will get Baylor Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Kalil-to-Vikings camp seems to be growing.

For all news and information regarding USC athletics, please visit Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Matt Kalil potentially becoming a Minnesota Viking, please visit the Daily Norseman.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Projected For No. 3 Overall To Minnesota Vikings (Again)

For all of the uncertainty the surrounds the 2012 NFL Draft, it sure seems like there is some certainty surrounding USC Trojans star offensive tackle Matt Kalil. Just about every Mock Draft around right now has Kalil going No. 3 overall to the Minnesota Vikings to protect Christian Ponder, Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart and the latest mock from Rob Rang of CBS Sports sees this happening as well.

Matt Kalil, OT, Southern California: Considering the pass rushers in the NFC North division, high-caliber blindside tackles are required. The Vikings aren't likely to pass on an opportunity to draft a future Pro Bowler. That's exactly what Kalil represents. Scouts would like to see Kalil play with more consistent technique, but he's been able to dominate at the collegiate level based only on his size (6-6, 295) and athleticism.

There's always the chance the Vikings try to land an electric playmaker in the form of Robert Griffin III or Justin Blackmon, but it truly appears the team is dedicated to building around Ponder and the pieces already in place. In addition to a receiver or quarterback, some believe Minnesota may take a serious look at LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.

For more on the Vikings, head on over to Daily Norseman. For more on the Trojans, check out Conquest Chronicles.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Ryan Kalil, Robert Griffin III, Justin Blackmon Fighting For Second Behind Andrew Luck

USC Trojans All-American left tackle Matt Kalil will soon join his brother, Carolina Panthers All-Pro center Ryan Kalil, in the National Football League. The only question is just how high and where Kalil the younger will be drafted. Most prognosticators have the junior offensive lineman going somewhere in the top five in their 2012 NFL mock drafts, somewhere behind quarterback Andrew Luck and lumped in with quarterback Robert Griffin III and wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

In the latest mock draft on SB Nation, Kalil is projected by Ryan Van Bibber to be selected third overall to the Minnesota Vikings. "Minnesota took a quarterback in the first round last year with Christian Ponder. Now, they give him an insurance policy with one of the best tackle prospects to come along in years," wrote Van Bibber. "Kalil is as can't miss as it gets in the draft this year."

High praise indeed for Kalil, the winner of the Morris Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-12 Conference.

Van Bibber has the Cleveland Browns trading up to the No. 2 spot, giving a king's ransom to the St. Louis Rams for the right to take Griffin. As part of the proposed trade, the Rams would get the No. 4 from Cleveland, among other things, and use that pick to take Blackmon, giving Sam Bradford a prime target to whom to throw for the next decade or so.

For more on Matt Kalil or the USC Trojans, head over and visit Conquest Chronicles.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Heads To Minnesota Vikings In Latest Projections

Matt Kalil appears to be a consensus top-five pick at this point and many feel he will be headed to either the Minnesota Vikings or St. Louis Rams. The USC Trojans standout spent the last few seasons protecting Matt Barkley and many feel he is the best offensive tackle prospect to come out in years. Armed with size, athleticism and a great football mind, whichever team selects him on April 26 will be getting a heck of a player.

According to Russ Lande of Sporting News, the Vikings will select Kalil with the No. 3 overall pick.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Matt Kalil*, OT, USC. The Vikings are committed to Christian Ponder as their quarterback of the future, but they need to find a left tackle to protect his blind side so he can develop.

Assuming the team is indeed dedicated to moving forward with Ponder at quarterback, it only makes sense to protect him, along with Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart. The Vikings have multiple areas of their team they would like to improve upon and could also look to select a wide receiver with their first round pick.

For more on the Trojans, head over and visit Conquest Chronicles.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Mel Kiper Has Matt Kalil To Minnesota Vikings

One of the most interesting dilemmas that'll be faced in the 2012 NFL Draft is what exactly a team will do with the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and how to best complement Sam Bradford. Do you give him someone to protect him while he stands back and passes, or do you give him someone he can throw the football to that can be relied upon as a number one option?

Mel Kiper's latest draft board has the Rams going the first way (you'll have to click here to find out which receiver), and the Minnesota Vikings taking Matt Kalil from the USC Trojans. Kiper makes "comparisons to Jake Long", as he's "athletic, with long arms, great feet and deceptive power given an athletic frame".

Click here to view the extent of Kiper's draft board (you will need an ESPN Insider subscription).

To talk about Kalil and the Trojans, check out Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Kalil and the Vikings, check out Daily Norseman. To discuss NFL mock drafts in general, head to Mocking The Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Headed To St. Louis Rams In Latest Update

There is no denying that Matt Kalil is an incredibly talented offensive lineman who will protect his quarterback for years to come. Just about everyone sees the USC Trojan going somewhere in the top-five, although some trades could definitely switch around which team Kalil ends up on. In this latest mock draft from Draft Breakdown, Ryan Lownes sees Kalil going No. 2 overall to the St. Louis Rams.

Matt Kalil - OT - USC

Many experts feel this pick will be up for sale with teams pushing hard for the next highest ranked signal-caller, Robert Griffin III. If the Rams keep this pick they will be using it to aid Sam Bradford. No offensive line allowed more sacks during the 2011 season and Kalil gives St. Louis an elite blind-side protector.

Regardless if Kalil ends up in St. Louis, Minnesota, Jacksonville or any where else, it is a safe bet to think he will have an immediate impact on the franchise. Blessed with incredible size, athleticism and a true knowledge for the game, very few college prospects are as polished as this USC Trojan is.

For more on the USC Trojans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Kalil To The Minnesota Vikings

It seems to be a two team race to land Matt Kalil of the USC Trojans. Kalil is a left tackle, and left tackles don't come by easy in football. When you have the chance to land one, you take one.

It'll all depend on what the St. Louis Rams decided to do with the number two pick. If the Rams feel that they need to upgrade their offensive line the most to protect Sam Bradford, they'll go with Kalil. But if they feel that Bradford needs a dynamic number one receiver, then they might go with Justin Blackmon, and then it becomes a no-brainer for the Minnesota Vikings. Rob Rang of CBS Sports with the explanation for Kalil.

Considering the pass rushers in the NFC North division, high-caliber blindside tackles are required. The Vikings aren't likely to pass on an opportunity to draft a future Pro Bowler. That's exactly what Kalil represents. Scouts would like to see Kalil play with more consistent technique, but he's been able to dominate at the collegiate level based only on his size (6-6, 295) and athleticism.

To discuss Kalil potentially being a member of the Vikings, head to the Daily Norseman. To discuss Kalil with fans of the USC Trojans, go to Conquest Chronicles. To talk about the NFL Draft in general and talk about mock drafts, head to Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil Second Overall To St. Louis Rams

Matt Kalil isn't probably going to move much of anywhere in this draft unless things go very wrong before the NFL Draft. Kalil is a bona fide left tackle that could be the cornerstone of a team's franchise the next decade or so presuming a clean bill of health. You have to take him if you get the chance.

It's unsurprising that Draft Tek puts Kalil as their number two prospect behind Andrew Luck (who is almost certain to be picked by the Indianapolis Colts). The explanation by Rob Occhipinti makes perfect sense too.

Last week, I made the claim that Kalil was possibly the best tackle prospect since Orlando Pace in the 1997 NFL draft. Today I will make the argument for Matt Kalil in his physical attributes. Kalil is a huge tackle, at 6'7" he is the same height as Pace but 40 pounds lighter at 295. His dominance at USC, even with Tyron Smith on the team in 2010 shows that even with room to add bulk, Kalil is an exceptional talent with room to grow physically with NFL quality training personnel. Kalil will likely gain 20 pounds moving to the NFL - making an imposing blend of size and technique to anchor the Rams line for years to come. Now to Kalil's improvement from sophomore to junior at USC. In 2010, Matt Barkley had Kalil and Smith blocking for him and was sacked 16 times in 13 games. 2011 had Smith go to the NFL with Sophomore Kevin Graf replaced him with Kalil remaining. Despite the change to a less experienced cast, USC allowed only 8 sacks in 12 games

When in doubt (unless you really, really need a quarterback), draft the left tackle. With the Rams already putting their future in Sam Bradford's hands, it makes sense that Kalil would be the guy they pick to complement him.

To discuss Kalil and the Rams, head to Turf Show Times. To talk about Kalil with USC fans, check out Conquest Chronicles. To talk about Kalil with other draft experts, go over to Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Matt Kalil To The St. Louis Rams

In the majority of 2012 NFL mock drafts to this point, it seems the pundits believe the St. Louis Rams will draft either a wide receiver or address the offensive line with the first selection. A receiver offers more excitement, but perhaps the an offensive lineman is more pragmatic. The Sporting News' Russ Lande projects that the Rams will go the OL route and take Matt Kalil from Southern Cal.

2. St. Louis Rams: Matt Kalil*, OT, Southern Cal. Sam Bradford had a disappointing 2011 season. A big reason was the poor play of St. Louis' offensive line. Tackles Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith did not play well. Kalil should be able to take over at left tackle as a rookie and shore up the pass protection.

If not Kalil, maybe Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon is the guy for the Rams.

For more on the Trojans and to discuss the team with other fans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. For more details on the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft, be sure to drop by Mocking the Draft.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Minnesota Vikings Projected To Select Matt Kalil

Matt Kalil has everything a team could possibly want in an offensive lineman. Gifted with incredible size, impressive athleticism, great technique and strong bloodlines, there is no doubt that Kalil will be one of the top selections of the 2012 NFL Draft. It what seems to be a continuing trend, the Minnesota Vikings are projected to select the USC offensive tackle in the latest mock draft from SI.com.

3. Minnesota Vikings -- Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Vikings GM Rick Spielman told quarterback Christian Ponder they wouldn't draft someone to compete with him. Instead, they'll try to beef up a line that allowed 49 sacks last season. Kalil didn't allow a sack at USC last season and he has the bloodlines -- his brother Ryan is a Pro Bowl center on the Panthers.

It will be interesting to see if Minnesota stays true to their supposed draft strategy in 2012 or if they will be tempted to look elsewhere if an opportunity presents itself. Assuming the franchise is dedicated to making the Ponder experiment work, it only makes sense to draft an elite offensive tackle to protect his blind side. Adrian Peterson and/or Toby Gerhart would also benefit greatly from the addition of Kalil. The first round of the NFL Draft is scheduled for Thursday, April 26.

For more on the Trojans and to discuss the team with other fans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Kalil Projected No. 3 To Minnesota Vikings, Behind Andrew Luck, Justin Blackmon

We are more than three months away from the 2012 NFL Draft, which leaves plenty of time for speculating and sorting out the various prospects, especially now that the college football season is officially over. The USC Trojans will likely have a top five pick in left tackle Matt Kalil, who is near the top of most mock draft boards. In the latest NFL mock draft at SB Nation, Ryan Van Bibber projected Kalil to go No. 3 to the Minnesota Vikings.

Kalil is only listed behind consensus top pick Andrew Luck of the Stanford Cardinal and wide receiver Justin Blackmon of the Oklahoma St. Cowboys, who affirmed his status as the top receiver in the draft with his stellar performance in the Fiesta Bowl.

Kalil was an All-American in 2011 and led an offensive line for the Trojans that saw Matt Barkley sacked only eight times in 12 games. Kalil himself didn't allow a single sack. The 6'7" Kalil also blocked four field goals on special teams. His brother Ryan Kalil, also a former USC lineman, has made three consecutive NFL Pro Bowls as center for the Carolina Panthers.

Van Bibber noted a big need at left tackle for the Vikings. "They signed Charlie Johnson from the Colts to be their starting left tackle prior to the 2011 season, and he quickly reminded everyone how Peyton Manning makes linemen look better than they are. Kalil gives them a cornerstone on the line," Van Bibber said.

For all news and information regarding Matt Kalil and USC football, please visit Conquest Chronicles.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Another Argument For Matt Kalil Heading To The Vikings

The speculation surrounding the 2012 NFL Draft keeps swirling. It's a bumper crop of young players and a wide range of pro teams looking to fill the entire gamut of positions that were found lacking in 2011.

USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil is widely regarded by experts and evaluators as one of the very best prospects in the country. Early mock drafts all had him going to the St. Louis Rams as the No. 2 overall pick. In the past week, however, there has been some thinking that the Rams will instead opt for wide receiver Justin Blackmon while he's still on the board.

In that case, the Minnesota Vikings would be poised to step in and snare Kalil with the No. 3 pick. National Football Post is in tune with this line of thinking in their latest mock draft. Here is their rationale, which makes a ton of sense:

Quarterback Christian Ponder has shown flashes in year one, but he needs to stay healthy. Therefore, bringing in the top offensive tackle prospect in the draft who has a chance to mature into a Pro Bowl-caliber lineman seems like an easy selection at three.

I would agree that the Rams would be smart to pick up the top wide receiver prospect in the country to pair up with Sam Bradford and try to build the offensive line in later rounds or via free agency. Finding protection for Ponder would go a long way toward drastically improving the current Vikings team.

For all news and information regarding USC athletics, please visit Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Matt Kalil potentially becoming a Minnesota Viking, please visit the Daily Norseman.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Kalil Could Join Select Group Of USC Offensive Linemen

Offensive tackle Ron Yary was the first USC Trojan to be picked first overall in the NFL Draft, in 1968 by the Minnesota Vikings.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: At Least One Prediction Has USC's Matt Kalil Going To Vikings

The 2012 NFL Draft is still a few months away, but with the end of the NCAA bowl season comes every football pundit under the sun fanning the flames with speculation about which top college players will end up with what NFL team. With a rash of players announcing their intentions of entering the draft following their schools' bowl games comes a brand new wave of rampant speculation.

One player that has long been announced as making himself eligible for the draft is Matt Kalil of the USC Trojans. Unanimously regarded as the best left tackle in the NCAA, Kalil could instantly improve any of a number of pitiful offensive lines. Seeing as weak o-lines generally make for losing teams, it has long been thought that Kalil will go early.

Most early NFL mock drafts had Kalil going as the second overall pick, which belongs to the St. Louis Rams. A new mock draft on Friday, however, presents a slightly different opportunity. New NFL Draft suggests that the Rams might instead opt for wide receiver Justin Blackmon in an attempt to shore up their offense, but doesn't rule out that they might still select Kalil.

Here is what they have to say about the possibility of Kalil ending up as the third overall pick, which would send him to the Minnesota Vikings:

This year has been a disappointment for the Vikings. However, it hasn't been all bad because Christian Ponder has shown flashes that he is going to be the QB of the future for the Vikings. Additionally they have looked ok at time on both offense and defense. With this selection I think they could go 1 of a couple ways.. first off I think they could go with one of the top tiered skilled players such as Morris Claiborne as a CB or Alshon Jeffery as a Wider Receiver. With this being said I think they need a Left Tackle of the future and Kalil would be this player fo the Vikings in the 2012 NFL Draft.

It's an interesting take. We shall see where all of this leads as more and more players announce their intent to go pro.

For all news and information regarding USC athletics, please visit Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Matt Kalil potentially becoming a Minnesota Viking, please visit the Daily Norseman.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Kalil To St. Louis Rams, Nick Perry To San Diego Chargers

The two best USC Trojans prospects in the 2012 NFL Draft are starting to settle into their natural positions in the draft. As a solid left tackle with bona fide credentials in college, there's no way Matt Kalil is dropping very far barring poor results in the combine or college all-star games. Kalil is a left tackle, and NFL teams at the bottom of the pecking order definitely need a guy like him. If the Indianapolis Colts take Andrew Luck as expected, the St. Louis Rams will almost certainly take Kalil next (SB Nation's current mock draft confirms this).

Nick Perry is probably going a little bit further down because no one knows for certain how potent a pass rusher he can be on an NFL defense. Sure, it's easy to be awesome at USC on defense, but can you play this good on your own? If he falls this far, the San Diego Chargers are the right team to fall to, as they have serious pass rush issues that could be fixed up if Perry is as good as advertised.

To discuss these USC players entering the draft, head to Conquest Chronicles. To discuss Kalil potentially being a Ram, head to Turf Show Times. To discuss Perry possibly going to the Chargers, go to Bolts From The Blue.

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2013 NFL Draft: T.J. McDonald Returns To USC For His Senior Season

There were some big questions as to whether the super juniors of the USC Trojans would return for another season. Two are going--offensive tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry will both be headed out to the draft. Kalil was a consensus top five pick and Perry was a likely first rounder. It made sense for both of them to go and not risk further injury or degradation of their draft stock.

T.J. McDonald had a similar to decision to make, but he ended up deciding to return. Dave Dulberg of the official USC Athletics blog files this report.

"USC has been a powerful place for my family and it has been a part of my entire life," McDonald said. "I came to USC at a unique time, when we were on probation, and a bowl ban, and nobody on my team was part of the reason for that bowl ban. We took it on full force and now we are on the way back to the greatness of USC.
McDonald is perhaps the best free safety in the country, but his draft stock is not quite as assured as his other Trojan peers. It makes sense for McDonald to return and refine his game as a senior before making his leap to the pros.


All that's left for USC is to await the decision of Matt Barkley, as his decision to stay or go could swing the balance of power in the Pac-12 in 2012.

For more on USC football, head on over to Conquest Chronicles.

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2012 NFL Draft: USC Trojans DE Nick Perry Decides To Go Pro

For the second consecutive day, the USC Trojans have lost another junior to the professional ranks. On Saturday, defensive end Nick Perry decided to skip his senior season and enter the 2012 NFL Draft. Perry joins offensive lineman Matt Kalil, who declared for the draft on Friday.

Perry helped the Trojans defense immensely in his junior season, leading the team with 13 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. In the latest mock NFL draft by SB Nation, Perry was not listed as a potential first round pick though both Kalil and quarterback Matt Barkley stand to be picked in the top 10. Barkley has yet to announce his decision.

As he was with Kalil, head coach Lane Kiffin was supportive of Perry in his decision to go pro. "We counseled Nick throughout his decision-making process and we stand behind him on this decision. His career progression at USC continued climbing to a point where he was ready to make the jump to the NFL," Kiffin said in a statement on Saturday. "He was an awesome pass rushing for us and he created havoc throughout the Pac-12 this year in a league that featured many of the nation's most dangerous passing offenses. He will be a valued addition to any NFL team and should be an attractive choice in the upcoming draft."

For more on the Trojans, head over to Conquest Chronicles.

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2012 NFL Draft: USC Trojans Matt Kalil To Skip Senior Season

The USC Trojans have a pair of juniors slated to go very high in the 2012 NFL Draft. On Friday, one of them decided to capitalize on that opportunity as left tackle Matt Kalil decided to skip his senior season and turn pro. Kalil was an All-American in 2011 and won the Morris Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-12 Conference.

"I realize that if I came back to USC next season, I could be part of some special things here and potentially win a national championship.  That was very tempting," Kalil said in a statement on Friday. "But in my research, I came to the conclusion that I can be the No. 1 tackle drafted and you can't go any higher than that.  Now is the right time to go.  It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I have to take it."

In November, Kalil speculated that he and quarterback Matt Barkley would either stay or go together, though Barkley wouldn't quite commit to the tandem decision. Kalil was projected in the latest mock NFL draft by SB Nation to be picked No. 2, with Barkley at No. 8. Barkley has yet to make his decision on whether or not to return for his senior season.

Kalil led a Trojans offensive line that saw Barkley only sacked eight times, the lowest figure in the nation. In addition, the 6'7" Kalil blocked four kicks on special teams.

Head coach Lane Kiffin supported Kalil, whose brother Ryan is an offensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers. "All of us at USC wish Matt Kalil the best as he takes this next step in his career.  Matt was thorough in his research and made a decision that is the right one for him.  We fully support that decision and we told him so.  He is ready for the NFL.  He will be a very high draft pick and will have a long, successful career," Kiffin said.

For more on the Trojans, head over to Conquest Chronicles.

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USC's Robert Woods, Matt Kalil Named as AP All Americans

WR Robert Woods and OT Matt Kalil were named as 2011 AP All-Americans.

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NFL Mock Draft 2012: USC Juniors Matt Barkley, Matt Kalil Projected Top 8 Picks

It's never too early to look ahead  and SBNation did so by posting its NFL mock draft.

The USC Trojans have a stake in this draft as two of the team's offensive cornerstones in juniors Matt Kalil and Matt Barkley are both being projected as top-8 draft picks, which is usually a sign that they both will look hard at declaring for the draft a year early.

Kalil is projected to go as high as no. 2 to the St. Louis Rams as the Rams look to continue to try to find an answer on an offensive line that should be arrested for a conspiracy to commit murder against forever-running-for-his-life quarterback Sam Bradford. Kalil could be the answer as he'd solidify the left tackle position.

Barkley is projected in the no. 8 spot to the Miami Dolphins who have searched for a franchise quarterback ever since the great Dan Marino decided to hang it up. Current Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore has been solid, but the prospect of bringing in a talent like Barkley is definitely something the Dolphins would consider.

But, of course, it's still early. This mock draft will change as the NFL offseason approaches. Stay tuned to find out where your favorite Trojans will go - or if they'll go at all.

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Matt Barkley NFL Draft News: USC OT Matt Kalil Will Probably Return If His QB Returns

Matt Barkley of the USC Trojans is still undecided about whether he wants to return to start his senior season on a team without bowl eligibility. He could have some added pressure as another potential top five draft pick on his team might make his decision based on what his quarterback does.

Left tackle Matt Kalil is considered the best offensive linemen in college football and has done a good job keeping Barkley safe on his blind side. Kalil has gone on record about what he might end up doing. Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Matts will decide separately, but Kalil anticipates a "chain reaction" that will result in the "double package" either moving on or staying put.

"We either both leave or we both stay," he said recently. "I think that's the way it will play out."

Said Barkley: "I think it would be a big factor but not a definite yes or a definite no."

Kalil and Barkley leaving would force USC to rebuild and retool their offense around new veteran leadership in the line and under center. Returning? The Trojans could win a national championship. A lot is riding on the decisions of these two on whether they want to restore glory to Heritage Hall or turn pro and take their talents to the next level.

For more on the USC football, hit up Conquest Chronicles. For more on the NFL Draft, go to Mocking the Draft.

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