Feb 25, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Southern California Trojans offensive lineman Matt Kalil does a footwork drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Did Rick Spielman Tip His Hand On Matt Kalil?

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So its NFL draft season with the big event being about a month away. Nearly everything that’s said by coaches and general managers tends to thoroughly examined and broken down to the nth degree. Lets do it now with one of our big wigs — General Manager Rick Spielman.

In recent interviews Spielman talked at length of if it is imperative to have an elite left tackle protecting the quarterback’s blindside or if an NFL offense could succeed if the left tackle was simply competent. This was assumed to be a smokescreen surrounding USC stud Matt Kalil whom the Vikings are believed to be coveting to after quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III fly off the board. Then in a another interview Spielman professed his affection for LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne before his pro day, which was alleged to be another attempt to throw folks off that the Vikings weren’t overly interested in spending their 3rd overall pick on Kalil to pencil him in as the left tackle starter from day one. Spielman’s latest words on how recently signed offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz would compete to start at right guard may have been most attention grabbing because of what Spielman didn’t say. The quote went as follows to 1500ESPN’s Tom Pelissero, “Yeah, he (Schwartz) played in 2010 with Carolina… he started at right tackle and right guard and did a very good job for them. He’s just another young guy that we feel has an opportunity to come in and compete. But we’re very excited about Brandon Fusco and some of the things he showed last year. We’ll see if we can get Chris DeGeare back on track from where he was headed his freshman year. DeMarcus Love had a really good training camp last year. So, you’re betting that those guys will continue to develop and continue to make a push.”

Interesting! I know that I’ve been accused by my Twitter followers of having off-the-wall ideas, but that quote is a heck of a lot different than if Spielman were to say something along the lines of “We’re very excited that Geoff decided to join the Vikings and look forward to him being a part of our offensive line.” Maybe it’d be best for Spielman to write “Matt Kalil – Vikings” on his draft card now and inform current left tackle Charlie Johnson that he’s moving inside to left guard. Also every one of DeGeare, Fusco and Love are not currently viewed as guys capable of playing the tackle position in the NFL.

Spielman is quickly developing a reputation of being too loose and friendly with the media, which is a double-edged sword. He seems like a wonderful man that the “Minnesota Nice” population can appreciate, but those successful in this game keep their cards close to their vest and rarely dish out information. Now we know who well be in the mix to start at right guard for the 2012 season. But what about the other side of the line? Spielman didn’t mention current left tackle Charlie Johnson. Gee, I wonder why?

Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig

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