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Draft fallout: Was Matt Kalil right choice for Vikings?

253 draft picks transformed the NFL in a matter of days. Around the League will examine the aftershocks by asking one post-draft burning question for all 32 teams.

Was Matt Kalil the right move for the Vikings?

The Minnesota Vikings couldn't have handled their first test in the draft with any more skill. By trading the No. 3 pick to the Cleveland Browns, general manager Rick Spielman landed three additional picks to fall but a single spot to No. 4.

Draft fallout

Around the League examines the aftershocks of the 2012 NFL Draft with one burning question for each team:

AFC East
Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
49ers | Cardinals | Rams | Seahawks

From the early days, draft experts linked Minnesota to Matt Kalil, the agile left tackle out of USC. Coming off a 3-13 season, the Vikings had needs everywhere. Finding a left tackle was near the top of the list, and Kalil is a safe pick, but was he the right choice?

What about Morris Claiborne? The cornerback might have done more for this team in six games a year against Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler, and shutdown corners can be just as tough to unearth as offensive tackles.

We believe the Vikings made the right move. Pairing Kalil with Christian Ponder will hasten the young quarterback's development. Ponder spoke honestly last week about hearing footsteps during his rookie season, partly because of the punishment he took under center.

"A lot of times I wasn't comfortable getting to my third, fourth reads, checking the ball down. Instead of just checking it down when a guy is wide open, I'd just run," Ponder said. "... That's something I have to get away from. It's easy to break the habit. It's just going to make it so much better having full confidence in the protection."

The passing game in this league has blown wide open. There's no bigger investment on a football team than at quarterback and Minnesota is going nowhere without better play at the position. The Vikings believe they have a potential franchise passer in Ponder, and made the right move in grabbing the draft's premier left tackle.

"Again, to have a quarterback not have to worry about that left side, or have the insurance that the left tackle is going to handle the speed rushers and the speed rushers that we are going to face in this division helps that quarterback focus more on what is going to happen in the passing game down the field," Spielman told the team's official site. "Maybe getting that extra time to find an open receiver and hopefully Matt will help fulfill all that."

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