At TVA we’re tuned into NFL Network watching the combine (or as Rick Spielman calls it “The Underwear Olympics”) as the big uglies workout. Exciting weekend, huh? Unless you’ve been living in a cave the past two months it’s widely assumed the Vikings will target a left tackle early-on in the draft kicking Charlie Johnson to guard with the hopes of improving the offensive line. If Christian Ponder is to survive and our running game is to have holes some improvement is needed. Here’s a cliff notes version on how a handful of prospects have preformed…
Matt Kalil, USC: Most mocks have the Vikings staying put at 3 selecting Kalil after the Colts select Andrew Luck and some team trades up with the Rams to select Robert Griffin III. Kalil measured 6’6” weighing 306 lbs, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.96 seconds, has 34 1/2” arms, did a sufficient 30 reps of 225 lbs and seemed very composed when doing an interview with Brian Billick and Solomon Wilcots. All indications (for now) point to him being a top 3 pick. The question is do the Vikings actually stay put to take the third Kalil to make it in the NFL?
Riley Reiff, Iowa: Reiff has been connected to Vikings at 3 as well in mocks if the Rams stay put taking Kalil. The Vikings seem to like Iowa Hawkeyes that are from South Dakota after the success they’ve had in linebacker Chad Greenway. Height was 6’5”, 313 lbs, 5.16 40-time, only benched the bar 23 times and had an arm length of 33 1/4”. Dan talked on arm length being a major issue for NFL scouts today and I’m happy to add onto that. The reason arm length is important is pass rushers (be it a defensive end or an outside linebacker in a 34 D) have the objective of creating separation from whoever is blocking them. The Giants Jason Pierre-Paul is widely considered the premier defensive end in football under the age of 25. JPP runs a 4.6 40-yard dash and has 35-inch arms. Longer arms allow JPP get in a better pass rushing or run defending position keeping the offensive tackle away from him and getting into the backfield. Not to mention once JPP is gets past the offensive tackle he is quicker than any offensive lineman in football with potentially a clear shot at making a play. That’s not to say an offensive lineman with shorter arms cannot succeed in the NFL, but the longer the arms the better.
Jonathan Martin, Stanford: Martin is considered at top 15 prospect and could be a possibility for the Vikings if they trade down several spots in the first round. He measured 6’5”, weighed 312 lbs with 34” arms and did not participate in any of the drills due to food poisoning. The Vikings will obviously due their diligence on Martin at Stanford’s pro day when Spielman is done doing his “Full Monty” on Luck.
Cordy Glenn, Georgia: Glenn played left tackle at Georgia and most draft pundits had him ticketed for guard in the NFL considering he weighs 345 lbs. That could change however with a respectable showing at the Senior Bowl where he displayed excellent lateral quickness, a solid girth, ran the 40-yard dash in 5.21 seconds (nearly unheard of for a guy that big, proof he carries his weight well), did 31 reps on the bench press and had 35 3/4” arms. Glenn is very raw as a blocker compared to the pedigree of Kalil, but he is a total wildcard after the offseason he’s having. If see him going in mocks anywhere between 10 and 45… just remember you heard it first here.
Mike Adams, Ohio State: Adams was mocked in the late first to early second earlier this year, shot up the board with a decent showing at the Senior Bowl and is now sliding back down after not looking that great at the combine. He measured 6’7”, weighed 323 lbs, ran the 40 in 5.31 seconds, was only able to bench the bar 19 times and had 34-inch arms. He looked like a big guy who’d make an okay blocker in drunken college intramural game, not someone who you want protecting an NFL quarterbacks blindside.
The tight ends are working out now. But who cares having Kyle Rudolph? You’re on your own if you want to observe tight ends in tight shorts.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig