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Matt Kalil Is Confident

Yesterday, USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil. . .the prohibitive favorite to be selected by your Minnesota Vikings with the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. . .recently met with the team.

Kalil knows that he's likely the pick for the Vikings at #3, and judging from the conversation that he had with Dan Wiederer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, he's pretty confident in his abilities.

Wiederer: The debate that the Vikings will have leading up to their pick at No. 3 won't have much to do with what your talent level is. They seem sold there that you're everything advertised as a difference maker on the o-line. But the riddle they're trying to solve is figuring out how important the left tackle position is to the franchise's long-term success. As they sort that out, how would you sell them on the value that you can add to their team and their offense?

Kalil: For me, I went in there with confidence and I told them how I am. For me, the way I've trained all my life in football, I'm more scared to fail than I am driven to succeed. So I do whatever I can to be the best that I can be at my position. And I think I've done a good job of doing that. I went in there with the utmost confidence. And they asked me that question. They asked me what I could do for their team and I said, ‘Ya know, if you guys draft me, you won't have to worry about finding a left tackle for the next decade.' That's what I plan to do. I plan on getting there and delivering.

And it's not so much I'm going in with an attitude like, ‘Oh, I'm from Southern Cal' with my chest out and my chin up in the air. That's not how I play. That's not the kind of teammate I am. But I think I can go in, stay humble and show my teammates what kind of player I am by the way I work hard on the field. Not really saying much but gaining the respect of my teammates by working my butt off. That's what they can expect from me. All I want to do is be a good teammate and win games. I love to play the game. That's what I went in there and told them. We'll see what they thought about that come draft night.

Gotta love a player with that sort of confidence. . .sort of reminds me of the stories about Peyton Manning when the Indianapolis Colts were debating whether to take him or Ryan Leaf with the first pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. When Manning got the ability to meet with the Colts, he went to them and said. . .and this is a direct quote from Manning, who has told this story a few times. . ."if you don't take me, I'm going to be kicking your ass for the next fifteen years."

I mean, Kalil didn't put it quite that way, but the sentiment is there.

I would really love to think that this pick is set in stone, as offensive tackle is one of the Vikings' biggest needs and I don't think there's a tackle in this draft that's anywhere hear Kalil's level. Hopefully Rick Spielman won't get too cute with this whole operation and blow his chance to get a cornerstone like Matt Kalil.