A report last week suggested USC tackle Matt Kalil was returning to school for his senior season. That has proven to be untrue; Kalil is turning pro in what amounts to an excellent bit of news for a Vikings organization already looking toward 2012.

Why should you care? Well, Kalil very well could be the second-best prospect in the entire 2012 draft behind Stanford QB Andrew Luck. He could be a franchise left tackle -- something the Vikings desperately need, considering they jettisoned (not without reason) their previous franchise left tackle, Bryant McKinnie, before the season. McKinnie, by the way, represents the only first-round pick the Vikings spent on an offensive lineman between 1996 and 2011. It shows. (They have drafted ZERO defensive backs that high during that span. Again, it shows. That's not to say they've drafted poorly in the first round; it's just noting the talent gap at those spots).

As Kevin Seifert notes, the Vikings could very well end up with the No. 2 overall pick -- even if they finish with the same record as St. Louis. The Rams currently have the tiebreaker edge, but their strength of schedule improves considerably in the final three games. And as Seifert notes, the Rams appear set at the position regardless of where they draft.

Landing at No. 2 overall and having Kalil in the mix would not only give the Vikings a no-brainer target but also adds another blue chip name to the top of the draft -- adding value if the Vikings attempt to trade down in order to amass more picks to fill their countless holes.

Kalil, though, would be tough to pass up. He's 6-7, 295 and didn't allow a sack in 2011. You can't fix all of a young QB's problems overnight, but a standout left tackle to protect his blind side is a nice start.

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