The Vikings are talking like a team that could pass on USC left tackle Matt Kalil with the third overall pick in the draft, and that has talk heating up that Kalil could slide. But if he does, he might not slide any further than the Buccaneers at No. 5.
Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times connects the dots and writes that Kalil would be a strong candidate as the Bucs’ first-round pick.
Offensive tackle isn’t generally viewed as a major need for the Buccaneers, who have Donald Penn on the left and Jeremy Trueblood on the right. But Penn was overweight last year, while Trueblood is entering the last year of his contract. And new Bucs coach Greg Schiano believes strongly that the offensive line is an important part of building a team. So Kalil wouldn’t be out of place in Tampa Bay.
Most draft projections have the Vikings taking Kalil third overall, the Browns taking either Alabama running back Trent Richardson or LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne fourth, and the Bucs taking Richardson or Claiborne (whoever the Browns don’t take) at No. 5. If the Vikings pass on Kalil to take Claiborne, that may shuffle those three only enough to have Kalil landing in Tampa Bay.