INDIANAPOLIS -- There is a moment at most NFL combines when I see a highly regarded prospect and am surprised at what he looks like in person. Friday, that player was USC left tackle Matt Kalil, one of a handful of players the Minnesota Vikings might draft at No. 3 overall.
Dressed in a baggy sweatsuit, Kalil looked as much like a tight end as he did a left tackle. He played last season at 300 pounds and said he weighed in this week at 306. But suffice it to say, there are plenty of pounds left to be packed on his 6-foot-6 frame.
"Definitely [I would like] to put more bulk on my frame," Kalil said. "I'm so tall and slender, I could weigh 310, and it wouldn't look it. I can definitely add more weight, and I will be training the next few months -- getting bigger, getting stronger, working on my body."
To be clear, I don't think Kalil needs to go on a massive weight-gaining expedition in the next few months. He credits his success to playing light on his feet and moving well, and for that reason it wouldn't make sense to jump, say, 30 pounds in a year. But weight is one of the measurables people will fixate on here at the combine, and for comparison, consider that Green Bay Packers left tackle Chad Clifton weighs 320 pounds and J'Marcus Webb of the Chicago Bears is listed at 333 pounds.
Last year, Colorado left tackle Nate Solder was considered a project in part because he had 319 pounds spread out over his 6-foot-8 frame. The New England Patriots selected him with the No. 17 overall pick. But to this point, most draft observers have agreed that Kalil is polished from a technique standpoint and ready to start in the NFL immediately.
He'll have a chance to convince Vikings officials of that Friday when he meets them for a formal interview. Kalil will also speak with the St. Louis Rams, who own the No. 2 overall pick and could make the Kalil discussion a moot point for the NFC North. Stay tuned.