USC left tackle Matt Kalil has been tied to the Vikings with the third pick in the NFL draft for so long that hardly anyone has even stopped to think about where Kalil might go if the Vikings don’t draft him. But as we enter draft week, there’s increasing talk that the Vikings could pass on Kalil — and Kalil could side after that.
We noted last week that the Vikings have interest in not just Kalil but also Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon and LSU’s Morris Claiborne, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on SportsCenter this morning that the interest from the Vikings in all three of those players is very real. The word out of Minnesota is that the Vikings have not decided to take Kalil, contrary to what has been believed.
So if the Vikings were to pass on Kalil, where would he end up? As Schefter noted, he could slide a few picks, as the next teams on the board — Browns at No. 4, Buccaneers at No. 5, Rams at No. 6 and Jaguars at No. 7 — all could conceivably pass on the draft’s top tackle.
Then there’s the assessment from Greg Cosell of NFL Films, who writes that in his own mock draft, not only does Kalil not go at No. 3 to the Vikings, but Kalil doesn’t even go in the Top 10. Cosell isn’t necessarily down on Kalil — he calls Kalil the top tackle in the draft — but he doesn’t think Kalil’s talents and any team’s needs align until at least 10 picks are off the board.
It’s still entirely possible, maybe even probable, that Kalil will go third overall to the Vikings. But after months of mock drafts listing Kalil as the third player off the board, that doesn’t seem like such a sure thing.