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Minnesota Vikings select Matt Kalil, Harrison Smith in NFL draft

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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The Minnesota Vikings inched down one spot, and then they jumped up and joined in again before the first round was finished. When the night was done, they could not have felt better about their haul.

"Wow. This is pretty good," coach Leslie Frazier said with a smile.

The Vikings took massive left tackle Matt Kalil from USC on Thursday to solidify their offensive line and provide young quarterback Christian Ponder some protection.

"I really couldn't picture myself any other place," Kalil said, describing the relief of seeing a Minnesota area code on his phone.

"When I left USC, I think I was ready to take on this role," Kalil said.

The Vikings dealt their third overall pick to the Browns for the fourth overall selection, plus Cleveland's picks in the fourth (118th overall), fifth (139th) and seventh (211th) rounds. The Browns wanted Alabama running back Trent Richardson, so the Vikings knew they could still pick Kalil.

Concerned about the lack of quality safeties in this year's crop, the Vikings found another trade partner in Baltimore, acquiring the 29th overall selection and sending their second-round (35th overall) and fourth-round (98th) picks to the Ravens.

"This is what makes the draft so fun," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said.

After their second trade on the opening day of the NFL draft, the Vikings selected Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith to continue the resuscitation of their depleted secondary.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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