Vikings Got a “Cold-Blooded Sniper.” Source? His Teammate.

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The Minnesota Vikings draft class includes seven picks made by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, and 17 undrafted rookies joined the organization. Some so-called priority free agents might have a chance to sneak on the roster, but the two first-rounders, J.J. McCarthy and Dallas Turner, undoubtedly headline the group of rookies.

Vikings Got a “Cold-Blooded Sniper.” Source? His Teammate.

Vikings Got a "Cold-Blooded Sniper." Source? His Teammate.
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McCarthy is the potential franchise quarterback as the highest-drafted passer in franchise history. The 21-year-old might challenge veteran Sam Darnold for the starting gig as early as training camp. While the quarterback could sit for a few weeks, pass-rusher Turner should be expected to play a large role in Brian Flores’ defense in the season opener.

The defender starred at Alabama for three years, logging a total of 22.5 sacks and 32.5 tackles for loss. When a recruit joins the Alabama Crimson Tide, he knows the big stage awaits him with annual trips to the playoffs and SEC Championship Games. Someone who competed with Turner for titles was kicker Will Reichard, who spent all of his five seasons with Nick Saban’s Alabama.

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Turner appeared on KFAN’s Nine to Noon with Paul Allen, the Voice of the Vikings, and, of course, he was asked about his former (and future) teammate.

They (the Vikings) got a cold-blooded sniper; that’s that man ‘Will Record.’ Will was my only kicker in college. That’s all I know. Will is definitely cold-blooded. He showed up every single time we needed him.

Dallas Turner about his fellow Alabama draftee, Will Reichard

Reichard joins free-agent addition John Parker Romo in the kicker room. Still, he should ultimately be the favorite to win the job because the team made a substantially more significant investment in him.

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The rookie is the all-time NCAA record holder in points scored. On his way to breaking the previous best, he passed ex-Vikings pick Daniel Carlson for the SEC record.

Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell, the new Vikings regime, took a stab at a kicker for the first time after sticking with Greg Joseph for two seasons while only adding two undrafted rookies whom the veteran was able to beat out rather quickly.

Reichard made 295 of 297 extra points in five seasons at Alabama. His last missed extra point came in 2021. He hit 84 of 100 field goals, with a career-long of 52 yards and an outstanding 10 of 13 kicks from 50 or more yards.

New Vikings Kicker
Detroit Lions placekicker John Parker Romo (24) watches practice during OTAs at Detroit Lions headquarters in Allen Park on Thursday, June 1, 2023. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

His challenger, Romo, also had a long collegiate career. Before going undrafted, he played for Central Arkansas, Tulsa, and Virginia Tech, but he has had stints with the Saints, Lions, and Bears since. His only meaningful on-field experience came in the XFL when he hit 17 of 19 field goals in 2023 and a (since broken) 57-yard record for the longest field goal in the developmental league.

The 23-year-old Reichard has the talent to be the long-term solution at Minnesota’s haunted kicker position and has a consistent track record in his resume.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt