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2012 NFL Draft: Mel Kiper Mock Has Matt Kalil To Vikings

Many of the Minnesota Viking fan base have been outspoken about the team's No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and more accurately, outspoken about the fact that Minnesota should hang on to the pick and grab one of the premium players available. In the position they're in, they stand a good chance to trade the pick for what will probably be a slew of other picks so other teams can get a chance to draft Robert Griffin III.

One pick in particular has been a constant for them in mock drafts, and it remains so in Mel Kiper's latest mock draft:

Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Vikings are another team with a young quarterback, and while they could use a target such as Blackmon in the offense, they also really need to shore up their protection. You see a lot of left tackles drafted and moved to the right side as they transition into the NFL -- Tyron Smith with Dallas last year is a recent case -- but Kalil has big-time talent and could start on the left side early. I don't think the comparisons to Jake Long are too far off. Athletic, with long arms, great feet and deceptive power given an athletic frame, Kalil also could land at No. 2.

Kalil has been a popular pick for the Vikings, generally only changing when the St. Louis Rams are given him as the pick just before that. It's a pick that certainly makes sense, after investing heavily in quarterback Christian Ponder, they now need somebody sturdy to protect him to keep the Vikings actually in games. Most are of the opinion that this wouldn't be a bad pick whatsoever.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.