In just about every mock draft from here to eternity, I’ve seen the Vikings taking USC tackle Matt Kalil with the third pick in the draft. Now, there are some rumors swirling that Kalil to the Vikings isn’t such a sure thing. So here’s the big question for Bears fans – if the Vikings pass on Kalil, should they try to trade up and get him?
Kalil is widely considered the top tackle in this year’s draft. After Kalil and Riley Reiff out of Iowa, there’s a pretty substantial dropoff in talent. Check out the scouting report on Kalil from CBS Sports:
Pass blocking: Eases out of his stance, showing good patience to allow defenders to come to him. Plays with textbook balance and technique: knees bent, shoulders square and on the balls of his feet. Has good arm length and upper-body strength to steer defenders aside. Has the power and agility to mirror and when he sets his hands, it’s generally game over. Has a tendency to be lazy fundamentally and is susceptible to elite lateral agility. Good recognition skills.
Run blocking: Fires off the snap. Has a prototypical build and strength of an NFL offensive lineman. Maintains good pad level and has the strength in his upper body and leg drive to knock his opponent off the ball. Quick to the second level. Flashes some nastiness to pancake off-balance opponents.
Pulling/trapping: Limited experience, unlimited potential in this area. Comfortable on the hoof, showing plenty of athleticism and recognition to handle blocking in space. Effective, experienced trap blocker.
Initial Quickness: Decent initial quickness and a smooth, patient style about him when in pass protection. Rarely allows an outside pressure despite operating against hybrid fronts and many undersized pass rushers. Has good quickness off the snap when run blocking, though his strength and hand placement are more critical to his success.
Downfield: Finds his assignment quickly with good enough lateral agility and balance on the move to blast through target with an emphatic punch. Scouts would like to see more of a fiery, typical o-line temperament. Seems content to do enough to win the one-on-one matchup when he could wipe out defenders.
Intangibles: Younger brother (Ryan) and father (Frank) played D-I college football (Ryan at USC, Frank at Arkansas, Arizona) and in the NFL. Played special teams and blocked five kicks over the past two seasons, including four in 2011.
If the Vikings pass on Kalil, or if they get a monster offer for someone trying to trade up to guarantee themselves a shot at Ryan Tannehill, how far could Kali fall? Could the Bears trade with the Browns at #4? I think the Bucs are pretty set at #5, but the Rams might be coaxed out of pick #6?
The draft trade value chart would point to a handful of picks to move up into the Top 10. Would Phil Emery and the Bears be willing to give up picks when they have so many holes to fill? Could a player (Matt Forte, cough cough) sweeten the pot enough to pull off a deal? Is protecting Cutler a high enough priority worth pulling off another daring trade? These are the questions that will be answered in just a few days.