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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Mel Kiper Says Minnesota Vikings Should Select Matt Kalil

NFL mock draft season is officially here as ESPN's resident expert Mel Kiper released his second rendition of the season on Wednesday afternoon. It didn't include any earth-shattering, however, as the Minnesota Vikings are still slated to select offensive tackle Matt Kalil.

Kalil is a 6-foot-7 left tackle that didn't allow a sack while starting for the USC Trojans last season. He isn't the best offensive line prospect in the past 10 years or anything like that, but Kiper believes he can get the job done from Day 1 for Minnesota.

The Vikings need to upgrade at left tackle, and Kalil is the rare one who could step into that position right away at the NFL level. Great feet, arm length, athleticism and finishing skills as a run-blocker make him a very complete prospect. I can see the Vikings tempted if Blackmon is around here, which he very well could be, because they're also lacking weapons in the passing game. They could also go for a cornerback. It'll be one of three, all top needs.

Kiper projects that Andrew Luck and Justin Blackmon will go ahead of the Vikings with the top two picks, taking them out of the equation, while the next best defensive back is slated to go No. 6 as the Washington Redskins are projected to grab LSU Tigers cornerback Morris Claiborne.

For more on the Vikings, check out The Daily Norseman. For more on the draft in general, check out Mocking The Draft and then head over to learn about all things professional football with SB Nation's NFL page.

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