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Friday, August 23, 2013
#NFLRank: Matt Kalil is No. 59

By Ben Goessling

Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil is the 59th-best offensive player in the NFL, according to our #NFLRank project, an ESPN effort to identify the top 100 offensive and top 100 defensive players in the NFL.

Here's what ESPN Stats and Information had to say about Kalil, the Vikings' second-year tackle who made the Pro Bowl in his rookie year:

"Kalil played every single offensive snap for the Vikings last season. On first down, the Vikings averaged 7.2 yards per carry on rush attempts to the left side, best in the NFL (2012 league average was 4.6)."

My take: Kalil looks even stronger and healthier in his second season, after an offseason diet and training regimen designed to replace the 20 pounds he lost last season with more muscle. He's said he feels better than he did late last season, when he contracted pneumonia before the Vikings' penultimate regular-season game, and though he whiffed on blocking the Bills' Jerry Hughes on the Vikings' first offensive play last Friday night, Kalil figures to be as adept at handling speed rushers as he was in his first season.