All this speculation about the Vikings taking Morris Claiborne or Justin Blackmon or Stephon Gilmore or who the heck ever at #3 instead of Matt Kalil has to get us wondering: what do the Vikings do about their left tackle situation if they don’t take Kalil? Cause playing Charlie Johnson at left tackle ain’t a viable solution as far as I’m concerned. Let’s quickly run down the other tackles the Vikings might consider taking later on the draft if indeed they do pass on the USC kid:
Cordy Glenn: Mocking the Draft says, “Cordy Glenn is best fit for guard in the NFL, unless he gets a tremendous amount of coaching early in his career. He lacks the technique and natural instincts to be effective in pass protection. Worth a pick late in the first round as a guard due to his raw physical tools.” So I guess that’s a no.
Riley Reiff: As we previously noted here on TVA, Reiff has short arms and is not particularly strong. Like Glenn he best projects as a guard. So that’s probably another no though the Vikings were at one time believed to have interest in Reiff.
Bobby Massie: via With the First Pick, “Even though Massie has played the majority of his career at Ole Miss as the right tackle he has the quick feet and athletic ability to eventually make the switch to LT at the N.F.L. level. He has a good deal of upside, but needs to improve his technique and pad level. He needs to continue to work on positioning his feet in the right spot and working against speed rushers. He’s a player who could really impress at the combine and with his long arms and great frame, and upside could find himself drafted in late round two when all is said and done, but he’s not there yet.” Late round two? PFW’s invaluable draft value board rates Massie as 1C making him late first-early second. So right around where the Vikings will pick for a second time. He should probably be considered the #1 left tackle prospect not named Kalil even though he played on the right side in college.
Jonathan Martin: The Vikings had the big Stanford kid in for a visit. National Football Post says, “He’s got the NFL size, length and overall athletic skill set. However, he’s not a natural anchor player and doesn’t strike me as a guy who is ever going to be real physical at the next level. He can mirror in space, but struggles to stick through contact and isn’t real heavy handed. Looks like a finesse tackle who will get over drafted because of athletic talent, but is going to have a hard time keeping the edge clean at the next level.” His stock was much higher a month ago but he’s now slipped to mid-second level. Like I said, the Vikings looked at him, so they might have their eye on him in the second.
Mitchell Schwartz: Pro Football Weekly says, “Big, experienced, dependable, bump-and-steer college left tackle who lacks ideal athletic ability and quickness to man the blind side in the pros, but could develop into a serviceable right tackle or kick inside. Has highly desirable size, smarts and versatility, though long-term medical assessment could affect his draft standing and pro career.” Oh wait, we already have this guy. It’s his brother Geoff. Next.
Mike Adams: People love his talent but he keeps sliding down the board because of character concerns. There’s a real chance he could be sitting there in the third because of these maturity issues. If the Vikings still haven’t taken a tackle by the third, Adams might be a guy worth taking a chance on. If he ever pans out he could be a Pro Bowler.
Jeff Allen: Illinois kid. Good pass protector. Considered a potential first rounder by some. Rated late second by others for much the same reason Riley Reiff keeps getting downgraded: His body type is not ideal for left tackle. Doesn’t seem like a real physical blocker but, as noted earlier, he’s very good in pass protection. And what do the Vikings need more than anything?
Kelechi Osemele: Draftace says, “Osemele’s size is very intriguing, but one should always be wary of a prospect with this much experience who still struggles with the fundamentals of the game. Moving to guard will minimize the issue with his quickness and athleticism, but his inability to stay low enough to hold his ground is a concern. Elite NFL interior pass rushers will feast on his tendency play high. He should not be viewed as an immediate starter, but does have the potential to develop into a physical run blocker down the road.” Sounds fourth roundish to me. If the Vikes haven’t selected a left tackle by round four they’re not taking their problem seriously enough.
This looking-for-another-left-tackle exercise is probably pointless because the Vikings probably aren’t going to pass on Matt Kalil. Probably.