Sunday, February 1, 2015

Monthly Archives: April 2012

[Note: “Welcome To The Big Show” is a series where we will take an in-depth look at each of the Vikings draft selections this year. Every day will feature a new player and analysis.]

Welcome To The Big Show: Matt Kalil

1. Player Info

Name: Matt Kalil
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 306 lbs.
Position: OT
College: USC

2. Personal History

Football runs in Kalil’s blood. Both his father were studs in college and went on to have NFL careers (Frank Kalil was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1982 and his brother, Ryan Kalil, plays for the Carolina Panthers). Since high school, Matt Kalil has really excelled at football garnering honors and accolades from his earliest days at Serrvite High School in Anaheim, California until his last snap at USC. Outside of his football career, Kalil majored in Sociology at USC.

3. The Attributes

40 Yard Dash: 4.99 sec.
Bench Press: 30 reps (225 lb
Vertical Jump: 27”
3 Cone Drill: 7.33 sec.
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.65 sec.
Reported Wonderlic Score: 15

4. Skills

Strengths:
+ Dominant pass protector
+ Huge frame to grow in to
+ No durability issues
+ Quick feet
+ Athletic
+ Great technique
+ Experienced
+ Ready to play in NFL
+ NFL bloodlines

Weaknesses:
– Could improve run blocking
– Needs more power/strength

5. College Highlights

6. The Selection

Despite the smokescreens put up by General Manager Rick Spielman and the Vikings front office, it’s been well-known that the Vikings would select Matt Kalil with their first selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. Thanks to the smart maneuvering of Spielman, the Vikings were also able to swap spots with the Cleveland Browns (who had the #4 selection) and still select Kalil, gaining three additional 2012 picks in the process. Generally, Kalil’s selection is received well by fans who understand that protecting sophomore quarterback Christian Ponder is crucial to the future of this franchise. Kalil was considered by many to be the best non-quarterback in this draft class so it makes sense he was the first selection by the Vikings who had such a huge need at the left tackle position.

7. Scouting Reports

Walterfootball.com
FFToolbox.com
Draft Countdown
Sideline Scouting

8. Quotes

“Not so much of a concern, but I’m more anxious for the opportunity to compete at the highest level which is the NFL. I’m excited to go against the best defensive end in the NFL day in and day out in Jared Allen. I think he is definitely going to make me a better player and to go against a lot of other good defensive ends in the NFL. I think it’s more excitement for the challenge to really test my skills.”‘ – Matt Kalil

“I’m low key. Even though I’m from L.A. and Hollywood, that doesn’t represent my personality at all. I kind of like to hang out with my friends, play a lot of football, that’s what I love to do. My dream car is a Ford truck, a brand new Ford F-150. That’s the kind of guy I am and I also love to be a good teammate and a good family man.” – Matt Kalil

“I was pretty confident but with the draft, you never know what happens. When I first got into the green room and the pick started being traded and stuff, I didn’t know what to expect. When that pick came in, I was just staring at my phone, praying a Minnesota number would pop up and all of a sudden it started vibrating and ended up being picked there. I was excited. I think this is probably one of the only places I really wanted to play and could see myself playing so it is pretty crazy being here.” – Matt Kalil

“When you look at all the All-Pro left tackles today, Jake Long, Joe Thomas, those guys aren’t any more than 315 pounds and if you’re going against guys like Jared Allen, James Harrison, Dwight Freeney, those fast guys, you can’t be that heavy to keep up with them. It’s almost smart to be really strong but also have enough weight to handle those bull rushes but I think this is a game of speed and quickness so I think you have to have more quickness over how heavy you are.” – Matt Kalil

9. Where He Fits

Matt Kalil is expected to be an immediate starter at the Vikings left tackle position, allowing Charlie Johnson to be moved one spot to the right to left guard. The expectations both the Vikings staff and fans have for Kalil are incredibly high. Many expect him to be a pro-bowl caliber tackle who is with the team for many years to come.

10. Vikings Territory Grades

Brett’s Grade: A+
Adam’s Grade: A+

No fan or analyst is going to agree 100% with every move made in the NFL Draft in any given year, but this year has certainly left Vikings fans feeling better than they have in recent years.

The Vikings theoretically took big strides in improving their secondary, added a key piece to the offensive line, and should have an interesting competition amongst their receivers.  Still, it is tough to believe that the Draft, combined with the few free agent moves made earlier this offseason, will be enough to turn a 3-13 roster into a playoff contender.

Rick Spielman’s patience in the initial stages of free agency, however, could pay off in the months between now and September.  The team is believed to have $12.5 million in cap space after the Jerome Simpson signing, which is a considerable sum and gives them some firepower if a player that intrigues them becomes available as a result of being a cap casualty.

It is quite possible that this was Rick Spielman’s plan all along, to leave enough space to be major free agency players later on in the offseason when there is a great potential for steals.

Increasing the potential for success in this area is the fact that the Vikings will have third priority for players that are released from their current teams and subject to the waiver process.  Only the Colts and the Rams will have higher priority, and neither of them have the cap space available that the Vikings do.  In fact, the Rams may only have enough space left to sign their rookie class and that is it.

Names like Jacoby Jones, Mike Jenkins, and Josh Brown have already been mentioned in regards to potentially hitting the open market and many more are sure to follow.

The Vikings may be in an ideal situation to scoop up one or two players of value in an attempt to further rebuild this roster from top to bottom.

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Financial Literacy.

Now, there is a term that one doesn’t hear about too often, especially in relation to professional football players.  Players that sign big contracts will often take part in some sort of charity work or civic service that warms the heart or helps somebody with an incredible need.

VISA and the NFL have teamed up, however, to unroll a program teaching kids about their personal finances and Ponder enlisted to unroll the program in Minnesota while Greenway has done the same in Iowa.  The intent is to warn students of the dangers that exist with debt and also how to properly invest and safeguard their money.

As someone who listens religiously to the wise words of Dave Ramsey, I am glad to see that financial literacy is being brought to the forefront of America’s mind, and am proud to see our Vikings players getting involved.

“Kids need to know how to make smart money management decisions early in life,” said Ponder. “It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give teenagers a strong background in personal finance.”

The financial education center around an NFL video game called Financial Football.  In the game, students have to answer questions in order to gain yardage and score touchdowns.  When the players go to the classrooms, they split into two teams and face off with each other using Financial Football as the tool.

Greenway gave students a warning not to repeat his mistakes when they go to college.  Greenway told a story of piling up credit card debt and, were it not for his football career, it could have just snowballed from there.

“I eventually paid it off and I pay it off every month now,” Greenway told the students. “It’s important to learn how to manage money, and in the future, hopefully, to watch your budget grow.”

Kudos to Ponder and Greenway for representing the team very well and taking time to make a difference for these kids in the mid-west.

If you have interest in giving the Financial Football video game a try (I did, its… okay) you can do so by clicking here.  At the very least, your kids might be interested in giving it a shot.

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It never fails, every year somebody is added to this roster that has an incredible story worth telling.

This year, that guy is UCLA’s running back Derrick Coleman who has had to overcome an unusual disability on his way to the NFL.

Coleman, who reportedly signed as an undrafted free agent with the Vikings, has a severe hearing impediment and has to wear hearing aids in order to communicate with teammates on the field.  He has to wear skull caps under his helmet in order to keep the hearing aids dry and properly in place.

It hasn’t always been a disadvantage, though, as Coleman admits that in one particularly loud stadium he simply clicked the hearing aids off.  I bet offensive linemen wish they could do that from time to time to avoid false starts.

The lack of hearing heightens Coleman’s other senses, according to Coleman, who will read the lips of those trying to communicate to him.

“My dad always said: Keep your head on a swivel and be aware of your surroundings,” Coleman said. “So that’s how I am on the field. I always have to know what’s happening everywhere. You should anyway. You’re supposed to know what’s happening.”

“I’m not the type of person who is ever going to blame it on my hearing if I mess up,” he said. “Maybe I have too much pride because even if I don’t hear it, I might just say I got it wrong, rather than blame it on my hearing, you know?”

It sounds like Coleman is a fairly incredible kid worthy of a chance to keep on playing running back.

For more on Coleman’s story, click here for a great write up.

The Vikings made two trades during the first round of the Draft on Day One.  Then, on Day Two, they didn’t budge.  Now that Day Three came and went, however, we have two more trades to analyze and break down.

Minnesota was rich with draft choices entering the third day of the Draft with nine total.  Fans thought this indicated the team would be willing to package picks together to move up and grab the appropriately coveted players.  This turned out not to be the case, but the team did show a willingness to make an investment in their future by snagging picks for next year’s Draft.

This could be a good approach, as the team is highly unlikely to receive any 2013 compensatory picks because of how free agency played out this year.  We’ll break down each trade from a “point value” standpoint, referencing each against the Jerry Johnson Trade Chart as well as the Harvard Trade Chart, both of which are posted and explained on this page.

Vikings Trade Fifth Rounder (#138) and Seventh Rounder (#223) To Lions for Seventh Rounder (#219) and a 2013 Fourth Rounder

Jimmy Johnson Trade Chart:  This pegs the Vikings fifth rounder as being worth 37 points and the seventh rounder as being worth 3.3 points, for a total worth of 40.3 points.  The future fourth rounder from the Lions can be given an estimated value of about 35 points.  Meanwhile, their seventh rounder carried a value of 4.8 points which puts the total value of their package at 39.8 points.  This means the Lions came out ahead by 0.5 points.  Pretty darn close.

The caveat here, however, is that the value of that fourth rounder received from the Lions will only grow as the 2013 Draft draws nearer.  According to the chart, fourth round selections can be worth anywhere from 112 to 44 points on Draft Day.

Harvard Trade Chart:  The post-CBA chart puts the Vikings fifth rounder at a value of 70.3 points and their seventh rounder at 40.2 points.  Meanwhile, the Lions seventh rounder would carry a point value of 41.8 points and the future fourth rounder would be worth approximately 43.35 points.  That means the Vikings gave up 110.5 points while receiving only 85.15.  That fourth rounder could end up being worth anywhere from 76 to 98 points next offseason, however, all on its own.

Vikings Trade Seventh Rounder (#211) To Titans for a 2013 Sixth Rounder

Jimmy Johnson Trade Chart:  The Vikings pick carried a point value of 8 points.  A sixth rounder would be estimated at a value of 11 points.  The Vikings come out ahead on that trade from a points standpoint.  The value of that sixth rounder would be anywhere from 28 to 15 points by this time next year.

Harvard Trade Chart:  According to this chart, the pick given up by the Vikings was worth about 36.3 points.  The sixth rounder they received was worth an estimated 25.45 points.  Once again, however, that investment is expected to grow and the sixth rounder should end up being worth between 44 and 58 points next year.

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