The conventional wisdom that USC's Matt Kalil will go to the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 3 overall pick in this week's NFL draft could be losing traction after coach Leslie Frazier said left tackles aren't the "game-changers" that teams are expected to choose so early.
"You've got to really weigh your options," Frazier told The Star Tribune in a story published Sunday. "Because the philosophy (in the NFL) has always been to get the game-changer. And left tackle is not necessarily the game-changer. Usually game-changers are the guys who can score you points. Receivers. Quarterbacks. So what are we measuring that left tackle against? It's a loaded debate."
That debate, according to the Star Tribune, is if an All-Pro left tackle wins a team more games than a skill-position player. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said last week that the team is only considering Kalil, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne and Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon with the No. 3 pick.
Left tackle Jake Long was picked first overall by the Miami Dolphins in 2008. But Kalil, considered to be a safe, elite talent, might even slip out of the top 10, according to Greg Cosell of NFL Films.
Kalil will be the first tackle to come off the draft board Thursday, but perhaps won't align with a team's needs as early as many assume, Cosell said.
The draft's third overall slot has become the most watched, because the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins are expected to take quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III with the No. 1 and No. 1 picks, respectively.