Now that the 2012 NFL Combine is over, it's time to look back at how the USC Trojans did. Among the seven Trojans participants, All-American left tackle Matt Kalil and defensive end Nick Perry did nothing to dispel the feeling that they will be first round picks, while defensive tackle DaJohn Harris and fullback Rhett Ellison had positive results.
Kalil graded out at 94.0 per NFL.com, the top grade given any offensive lineman at the combine. He is expected to be drafted in the top two or three picks of the draft. Perry, who had 9.5 sacks in his junior season at USC, graded out at 87.5, good for third among defensive ends in the combine.
Harris graded out at 72.7, while Ellison was at 69.5. Other Trojans who participated but might have a hard time getting drafted were tailback Marc Tyler (52.5), linebacker Chris Galippo (50.0), and defensive tackle Christian Tupou (47.5).
USC has had 15 first round draft picks in the last 10 years.
Matt Kalil is the undisputed top tackle prospect in this year's draft after two successful years starting on the left side for the USC Trojans. He is an early-entry junior who redshirted his first year at USC and has been a reliable blind side protector for Matt Barkley. He has all the physical tools to achieve success at the next level and has continued to develop his game technically throughout his career.
But how did he do on the drills Saturday during the NFL Combine? Extremely well, of course.
Kail's 4.99 40-Yard Dash was the second-best run amongst offensive linemen. Kalil also ran the Three Cone Drill in 7.33 seconds, which was the second-best time by three-tenths of a second.
In the Bench Press, he put up 30 reps, which is on the higher side of results for the day. He also had a 27 inch Vertical Jump and a 4.65 20-Yard Shuttle run.
It was a solid day for the top tackle on almost everyone's draft board. Kalil did nothing to change the fact that he'll be among the first players drafted in 2012.
UCLA Bruins TE Cory Harkey was rather unheralded for much of his career at UCLA, where he only had one pass thrown his way as a senior and was used mostly as an extra blocker. Has good size as a blocker, but it is unlikely he will work upfield much as a pass catcher in the NFL.
Harkey participated in the NFL Combine drills on Saturday, let's take a look at how he stacked up.
He ran a 5.11 40-Yard Dash, put up 13 reps on the Bench Press, jumped 26.5 inches in the Vertical Jump, jumped 109 inches in the Broad Jump, ran the Three Cone Drill in 7.40 seconds, ran the 20-Yard Shuttle in 4.69 seconds and the 60-Yard Shuttle in 12.75 seconds.
His stats aren't terribly impressive compare to many others and he'll need to wow scouts with his off-the-field traits to have any chance of hearing his name called on draft day.
USC Trojans offensive tackle Matt Kalil is regarded by almost everyone as the de facto top offensive lineman in the 2012 NFL Draft. Nothing is likely to change between today and April 26th. Left tackles don't grow on trees, particularly left tackles of Kalil's prototypical strength and footwork. Kalil should make an NFL team particularly happy if they end up drafting him.
Mayock had high praise for Kalil during a conference call with reporters Wednesday, describing him as “wonderfully gifted” with the “great feet” and “long arms” needed to excel at the coveted left tackle position. Mayock said Kalil needs to improve his “core strength” but that that will develop over time.
“Every once in a while, he will get bull-rushed,” Mayock said. “But … he’ll ultimately be a exceptional pass protector.”
Kalil is one of those guys you'd love to pick, because you know from day one he can come in and help an NFL team get better. Someone is going to feel pretty happy with themselves once they get him, barring some drastic setback at the Combine.
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.