Left tackle, confidence builder
For once, I'm not writing about the stadium saga. We won. #Wilfare lost, and can suck my gjallahorn. It' time to talk about...wait for it...WAIT FOR IT...football, WOO HOO!
Over at NFL.com, I saw a story that asked the question: Were the Vikings right to draft matt Kalil?
Well, duh. Yes.
But in all sincerity, there was a sizeable contingent of Vikings fans that thought the best decision for the Vikings would've been to draft CB Morris Claiborne. Although Kalil was my first choice, almost from the moment the season ended, I wouldn't have been too terribly upset had they gone that direction.
But I think we already have validation as to why the Vikes were right to draft Kalil, as opposed to Claiborne. The Vikings are committed to Christian Ponder, and he admittedly had an up and down rookie season. One of the key improvements in said development will be his comfort in the pcket, which he admittedly didn't have last year.
"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."
One of the fears that we had as fans was that if Ponder were to keep taking the beating he took in 2011, he would get gun shy, injured, or both. The best example I can give of that happening is to Marc Bulger of the St. Louis Rams. When he took over for Kurt Warner in the early aughts, he was an All Pro quarterback, but by the time he left, he was a guy that was expecting to get hit from almost the moment he snapped the ball.
Now, at least the Vikings, by drafting Kalil and moving Charlie Johnson to the inside, have upgraded the offensive line, and have simultaneously given Ponder a shot of confidence that might allow him to develop into the type of quarterback that will be required if the Vikings are to contend in the NFC North.