Kevin Seifert of the NFC North blog tried to trade the third overall choice in the first-round mock draft we conducted Monday.
What would it mean for the St. Louis Rams, owners of the sixth overall choice, if the Vikings selected, say, cornerback Morris Claiborne over Kalil? Cleveland, with perennial Pro Bowl choice Joe Thomas at left tackle, would have no use for Kalil at No. 4. Tampa Bay, picking fifth, has 2010 Pro Bowl choice Donald Penn at left tackle.
Most scenarios for St. Louis assume Kalil (and Trent Richardson) would be unavailable to the Rams, leaving them to choose between Claiborne, Justin Blackmon or a defensive tackle at No. 6. Could they justify passing on Kalil?
"I don't think he gets past St. Louis at six," Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench said in the video atop this entry. "I know they've drafted tackles high, i.e. Jason Smith, and it hasn't worked out with his concussion issues, but you still need that franchise left tackle and, again, I think that position is so important that you can't just pass on it because you haven't had luck in recent years."
Muench called Kalil a "no-brainer" selection for the Vikings, but will Minnesota agree? And how would the Rams respond if presented with an unexpected choice? They recently worked out a streamlined contract with Smith, allowing him to return as the projected starting right tackle. Rodger Saffold returns as the likely starting left tackle, but he could conceivably move to another position on the line if the Rams found a better option at tackle.
I'll follow up with Muench for additional thoughts -- not just on this situation, but on draft-related subjects around the division. Back in a bit.