6 worst Minnesota Vikings first-round picks of the last decade

(Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images) Matt Kalil
(Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images) Matt Kalil /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Matt Kalil /

Matt Kalil – OT (2012)

Matt Kalil had a weird stint with the Vikings. He was expected to go as high as he did in the 2012 NFL Draft, which happened to be fourth overall, and he filled a huge need for the team at the time.

Kalil’s career in purple even got off to a great start. He started every game for Minnesota in 2012 and he played at a high level which resulted in a trip to the Pro Bowl as a rookie.

He held his own in pass protection and he was a mauler in the running game. The Vikings appeared to have themselves their left tackle for the next decade.

During the following season, however, Kalil’s play began to tail off. He was still very good, but he wasn’t the dominating presence he had been as a rookie.

In year three, his play decreased again and he began to get many more penalties called on him. In year four he became a liability and he was getting beat often by opposing pass rushers.

It was unclear what was up with Kalil, but he looked slow coming out of his stance and overall disinterested. Perhaps he had an injury he didn’t disclose, but he was far from the player he used to be.

Kalil suffered a hip injury early in 2016, which cost him the majority of his final season with Minnesota. The team let him go after his rookie deal expired and surprisingly, he landed a hefty contract from the Carolina Panthers.

Kalil played in all 16 games for Carolina in 2017, but he suffered a knee injury in 2018 and it put him on injured reserve for the entire season. The Panthers released Kalil in 2019 and while he was eventually signed by the Houston Texans, he ended up not making the team.

Kalil was a guy who had all the talent in the world. He peaked his rookie season, but he was so bad after that. He has to be considered one of the Vikings’ worst first-round choices of all time.