May 29, 2024

Expect the Vikings to Add a Kicker at Some Point This Weekend

The Vikings need someone who can come in and compete to win their kicking job.

It’s not exactly atop their list of needs, but the Vikings should be expected to add a kicker at some point during draft weekend. Whether they actually use a Day 3 pick on one or just sign one as an undrafted free agent, the Vikings may need to bring in a kicker who can compete for the job as a rookie.

After three mediocre years as Minnesota’s kicker, Greg Joseph signed with the rival Packers in free agency this year. The only PK on the Vikings’ roster right now is John Parker Romo, a former Virginia Tech and XFL standout with a big leg. But he’s never attempted a kick in an NFL regular season game, so he isn’t going to get handed the job without competition.

“Whether it’s possibly a draft pick or post draft, I think that’s a position where I look at it and want a competitive situation,” Kevin O’Connell said last week. “Because I think especially that position, the placekicker, you know, it’s pretty easy evaluation when you put one or two guys, competing against each other, where you can truly put them in tougher situations, high-pressure situations, even in front of a training camp crowd, even in front of their teammates in the spring with some circumstances on making a kick or missing a kick. You can really start to see how guys respond.

“So I really do want to have a competitive situation. I just think with how close games are in this
league, and I know everybody loves going for fourth down conversions as much as possible, but points are still a very, very important metric in a league as competitive as ours. Anytime you can feel confident putting somebody out there that they’re going to ring the bell and get your three points, that could be the difference in a game. I think it’s critical.”

There isn’t much out there in the way of proven veteran kickers who are still available (maybe 34-year-old Randy Bullock would be an option). So it seems likely that the Vikings will pursue one of the many kickers coming out of college this year. The notable prospects with a chance to get drafted are Alabama’s Will Reichard, Arkansas’ Cam Little, Stanford’s Joshua Karty, and Missouri’s Harrison Mevis. Other names to know include North Texas’ Noah Rauschenberg, Buffalo’s Alex McNulty, Michigan’s James Turner, Oregon’s Camden Lewis, and Notre Dame’s Spencer Shrader — and there are plenty of others who are in the mix to receive NFL consideration.

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