Tag:Matt Kalil
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:14 am
 

Source: OT Matt Kalil "set to return" to USC

Southern California left tackle Matt Kalil is "set to return" for his senior season according to a source close to the situation.

Kalil, 6-6 and 295 pounds, just finished his second season as the Trojans' starting left tackle. He earned First Team All Pac-12 honors and is currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 3 overall prospect in the country. Though his older brother, Ryan, returned for his senior campaign at USC prior to the center being drafted in the second round of the 2007 draft by the Carolina Panthers, most expected Matt to leave early.

A high-ranking NFL scout confirmed that he'd also heard Kalil was "definitely leaning towards returning" and that the decision surprised he and his scouting peers, as well.

"If he does indeed return, it would be a bit surprising. He's the top offensive tackle in the country. The senior class [at offensive tackle] is a weak group. At worst, he'd be looking at a top ten pick. That fact alone would send most guys into the draft."

Kalil's remarkable combination of size and athleticism had kept the Dallas Cowboys' 2011 first round pick Tyron Smith playing on the right side during his career with the Trojans. That didn't keep Jerry Jones and his staff from selecting Smith with the No. 9 overall pick. Smith, incidentally, has performed well this season as the Cowboys' starting right tackle.

Kalil has long been projected to enter the 2012 draft. Chad Reuter and I have each projected him as a potential top five pick in our current first round mock drafts.

Should Kalil return, it could set off of chain reaction pushing other talented USC underclassmen -- including quarterback Matt Barkley -- to shun the NFL and return for their senior seasons. The Trojans' bowl ban ends this year. Considering the talent this team has potentially coming back, a return to national title contention would appear possible.
Posted on: November 28, 2011 3:33 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:51 pm
 

Bowl bans may push USC/Miami youngsters to NFL

With many of the FBS teams finishing up their seasons last weekend, the march to the NFL draft in April is taking a turn onto a new road -- the early pathway to the pros.

Each year there are dozens of underclassmen who petition the NFL Advisory Committee for the grades that will help them determine whether they should leave school early for a chance at NFL riches or return to school for another year.

Generally speaking, most underclassmen wait until after the bowl games to make these requests.

Bowl bans for USC and Miami, however, mean that their underclassmen could be all the more vulnerable to the pressures placed by family, friends and prospective agents. While players all over the country are busy preparing for their final game or anxiously waiting to hear what bowl their team has been invited to play in, the likes of Matt Barkley, Matt Kalil and Lamar Miller (among others) may get convinced that the extra time could give them an advantage in preparation time for the Combine and other workouts.

Typically, once a few prospects begin to declare themselves eligible for the NFL draft, the floodgates open. Usually some of the first names to make it official are players who announce their thoughts immediately following a bowl game.

This year, some of the biggest names potentially available in 2012 could have made their intentions known long before the first bowl game kicks off.

Posted on: October 13, 2011 1:41 pm
 

Kalil vs. Cal DEs reason enough to watch tonight

Besides the fact that tonight's game between USC and California is an intriguing Pac-12 showdown, there are also plenty of NFL prospects to keep an eye on.

I expect the hype to center around USC quarterback Matt Barkley and it probably should. He's my No. 3 overall rated prospect potentially available for the 2012 draft, having shown improvement in his junior season in his decision-making and accuracy on the deep ball -- two areas I previously was concerned about.

The showdown I'll be focusing a great deal of attention on, however, lies up front in the trenches with USC left tackle Matt Kalil, also a junior, lining up against Cal's talented duo of defensive ends, Trevor Guyton and Ernest Owusu.

Guyton played second fiddle to New Orleans' first round pick Cameron Jordan last season, only starting four of the 11 games in which he played. Despite this fact, he finished third on the team in both tackles for loss (8.5) and sacks (4.5). He did this despite playing defensive end in the 3-4, which typically places its outside linebackers in position to make plays behind the line of scrimmage but not the defensive linemen.

At 6-3, 280 pounds Guyton lacks the classic size and arm length most NFL teams prefer for 3-4 defensive ends, though scouts for some teams running odd man fronts still like him. His burst and strength, however, could make him a nice middle round option for 4-3 clubs looking for a three-technique defensive tackle or for a strongside defensive end. As such, the versatile defender currently ranks 10th on NFLDraftScout.com's list of 2012 defensive ends. 

Owusu started nine games last season (playing in all 12 contests) but wasn't very impressive statistically-speaking. However, a strong performance thus far this season has him moving up draft boards. The 6-5, 270 pound Owusu currently leads Cal in tackles for loss (4.5) and sacks (2.5) and has a forced fumble to his credit, as well. Considering his size potential and "breakout" season thus far, he could surprise as the higher of the two Cal defenders selected if he can continue his early success.

The Cal defenders will, of course, have a tough task playing against Kalil. The younger brother of former USC standout and current Carolina Panthers' center Ryan Kalil, Matt was the reason why USC elected to keep Tyron Smith playing at right tackle over his career. At 6-7, 295 pounds Matt has prototypical size and eases off the snap quickly. I've been impressed with his athleticism and physicality before, but both elements of his game will be tested tonight against Cal's unique pair of defensive ends. Perhaps even more intriguing will be how Kalil handles the blitzes Cal defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast (formerly the defensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals) throws at him.

Tonight's game will begin at 9:00 pm Eastern and will be televised by ESPN.

 
Posted on: October 10, 2011 1:57 pm
 

FSU: OT Andrew Datko's surgery "didn't take"

Florida State offensive tackle Andrew Datko, NFLDraftScout.com's top rated senior prospect at the position, was held out of Saturday's upset loss to Wake Forest with a shoulder injury. Even worse, it doesn't sound like he's close to returning despite having undergone surgery on the shoulder early last week.

Seminoles' head coach Jimbo Fisher didn't sound at all optimistic about his senior tackle's chances at seeing the field soon when asked about Datko following the loss.

"It's not good. He can't play. The surgeries didn't take," Fisher said.

Datko underwent surgery over the summer to repair problems with his shoulders. He had separated one of them and tore the labrum in the other during his junior season. Despite the surgeries, Datko has been characterized as "questionable" for much of the early schedule this season and was held out of play Saturday after it was obvious during warmups that he was limited.

In his place the Seminoles started 17-year old true freshman Bobby Hart, who, not surprisingly, struggled.

With a clean bill of health, Datko had been rated by NFLDraftScout.com as a potential first round prospect. With a number of the top rated tackles from the Class of 2012 having left early for the NFL last season, Datko was the leader almost by default, as he ranked only fourth on NFLDraftScout.com's true tackle ratings behind juniors Matt Kalil (USC), Riley Reiff (Iowa) and Jonathan Martin (Stanford).

For my money, Ohio State's Mike Adams, who returned this past week from a five game suspension, is next in line as the best of the senior class tackles. Should Datko's troublesome shoulder(s) continue to be a problem, he could slip significantly down the board.
 
 
 
 
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