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Combine observations: Kalil dominates, cements top-3 status

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings might be shopping the third overall pick in the draft, but if USC tackle Matt Kalil is still available as expected, they might not want to pass at the opportunity to nab the potential cornerstone offensive lineman.

Kalil, considered the gem of this season's offensive line prospects, confirmed his natural athleticism after nailing most, if not all, the drills Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine. At 6-foot-6, 306 pounds, Kalil ran an official 4.99 40-yard dash and breezed through field drills. Oklahoma tackle Donald Stephenson was the only other offensive lineman to run a sub-5.0 40, besting Kalil's time with a 4.94.

The 40-yard dash is hardly a barometer teams use to validate offensive linemen but Kalil drew strong reviews for his overall condition and performance. Watching replays of his 40-yard dash while being interviewed on's live broadcast of the combine, Kalil joked that he looked so fluid that he should play some tight end.

Kalil said during interviews with teams, several showed him tapes of plays that he made last season and wanted to hear how he viewed them. He said he also told teams when he made mistakes, wanting to prove that he was accountable.

Kalil said his brother Ryan, the starting center for the Carolina Panthers, prepped him about what to expect during the combine process and stressed the importance of being honest and accountable during the team interviews.

What else stood out during the OL drills at Lucas Oil Stadium? Here are my observations from the field level:

» Stanford tackle Jonathan Martin was sick and did not participate in many of the measurable drills, including the 40, broad, vertical and long jumps. He did take part in some of the field drills.

Martin said he thinks his best attribute was his "intelligence," noting that he was able to easily take in Stanford's massive West Coast playbook, which was adjusted each week.

» Iowa tackle Riley Reiff, also considered a first-round pick, didn't dominate in any of the measurable drills but performed about as expected. He ran the 40 in 5.23 and broad jumped 8 feet, 2 inches. He did partake in all the drills.

» A prospect who could rise on some draft boards depending on how tackles are selected come April is Mississippi's Bobby Massie. The 6-6, 316-pound right tackle was one of the most physically imposing players on the field. He's rated as a fourth-rounder, who could rise into the third.

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89

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