New Scoring Threat Can Fix Vikings Kicking Woes

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Of course, the most notable Minnesota Vikings draft pick was quarterback J.J. McCarthy, and pairing him with star edge rusher Dallas Turner was always a way to win round one. Grabbing a kicker has a chance to be transformative for the franchise, and his former teammate certainly thinks highly of Alabama’s Will Reichard.

New Scoring Threat Can Fix Vikings Kicking Woes

This offseason, the Vikings decided to move on from Greg Joseph. Still searching for a true kicking answer after employing Dan Bailey in the wake of Mike Zimmer’s knee-jerk decision to jettison Daniel Carlson, the position has been something of a black hole for years. Kevin O’Connell watched as Greg Joseph provided year-one highlights and year-two lowlights.

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Heading into the offseason without a kicker on the roster, it was the XFL’s John Parker Romo. Known for his big leg, he would always be part of a quasi-competition with another player at some point. In the 6th round of the NFL Draft, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah started a run on kickers by taking all-time NCAA leading scorer Will Reichard.

Making 84 total field goals, and 10 from 50-plus yards, Reichard also has 295 career extra points to his credit. Used often for one of the nation’s most prolific programs, Nick Saban’s kicker has as much of a decorated background as you could hope for coming from the collegiate ranks. New Vikings teammate Dallas Turner has seen it firsthand as well.

There shouldn’t be another kicker expected as part of the competition. Romo and Reichard will go head-to-head vying for one roster spot, but it’s hard not to see things heavily favor the Alabama product. Although he may not have the same leg strength, Minnesota prioritized a pick on a player who could potentially impact their roster. It’s not often that late-round picks amount to much, but at such an important position, the powers that be chose an avenue to find a difference maker.

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Kickers have come and gone for the Vikings over recent seasons, and finding one that they drafted and can remain on the roster into the foreseeable future would be a nice turning of the tide. Reichard has seen it all when playing for Alabama and has kicked in some of the most high-pressure moments on the collegiate stage. How he handles the next step remains to be seen, but it stands to reason that the Vikings will have two new Crimson Tide starters during Week 1.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.