USC Trojans All-American left tackle Matt Kalil is expected to go quite high in the 2012 NFL Draft. If he goes high enough, Kalil will join a select group of Trojans linemen, all of whom set a high bar for success as a professional.
When Kalil declared for the draft in December, he concluded that there was no better time for him to strike. "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," Kalil said in a statement.
It appears he was right, as Kalil is projected to be drafted either second by the St. Louis Rams or maybe third by the Minnesota Vikings, depending on whom you ask. If Kalil gets drafted in the top five, he will join this quartet of Trojans that all had success in the NFL.
Yary was a two-time All-American at USC in 1966 and 1967, and helped the Trojans win the national title in his senior season of 1967. Yary was the first Trojan ever to be selected first overall in the NFL Draft, as the Minnesota Vikings tabbed the tackle at number one in 1968. All Yary did was play 15 years in the NFL, make seven Pro Bowls, get named to six All-Pro first teams, and play in four Super Bowls. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
Powell was an All-American tackle in 1975 and 1976, opening holes for tailback Ricky Bell, and was drafted fourth overall by the New York Jets in 1977. He played 11 years in the NFL and was named to five Pro Bowls and three All-Pro first teams.
Munoz was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals as the third overall pick in the 1980 draft. He played in two Super Bowls with Cincinnati, and was selected to 11 Pro Bowls and was a nine-time All-Pro first team in his 13-year career. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.
Boselli was an All-American tackle for the Trojans in 1994 and was picked second overall by the brand new Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995. Boselli made five Pro Bowls and was named to the All-Pro first team three times in his first six seasons. Unfortunately, injuries cut short his career and Boselli was done by age 29.
Those four USC tackles to get drafted in the top five of the NFL draft combined for 28 Pro Bowls, 21 All-Pro first teams, and two of them made the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At a minimum, the tackles made five Pro Bowls and three All-Pro first teams, giving Matt Kalil an awful lot to live up to.