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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.