Can Will Reichard Be a Carlson Redemption?

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The Minnesota Vikings used their sixth-round pick during the 2024 NFL Draft on Alabama kicker Will Reichard. He became the first drafted kicker by the franchise since Daniel Carlson, and everyone has to hope for a similar long-term result.

Can Will Reichard Be a Carlson Redemption?

Of course, Daniel Carlson is no longer kicking for the Minnesota Vikings. He is one of the NFL’s best kickers, but the Las Vegas Raiders employ him. After starting slow and struggling as a rookie, Mike Zimmer quickly grew displeased and sent him packing in favor of a veteran.

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Kevin O’Connell will watch Will Reichard look to establish his place within the NFL, but he must take a well-reasoned approach. Special teams coordinator Matt Daniels needs to ensure that Reichard is tested through training camp and the preseason, but all parties have to know there will be some bumps in the road.

One would hope that Reichard isn’t missing kicks that cost Minnesota games out of the gate, but he was the first kicker taken during the 2024 draft for a reason. As a standout for one of the most premier programs in college sports, Reichard has kicked in the biggest moments on the collegiate stage. He has yet to prove an unwavering level of confidence at the next level, but that is something his talent should foster as he takes the field.

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Watching Carlson kick for the Raiders over the past handful of seasons is no doubt frustrating for Vikings fans. Cycling through a handful of kickers, all of them middling to some degree, Carlson has been steady and unrelenting in his pursuit to be among the best. If the Vikings can push Reichard over the hump out of the gate, they may stand to benefit in a big way as he settles in at the next level.

Switching out kickers on a near-yearly basis hasn’t benefited Minnesota. Utilizing draft capital on the position doesn’t always bear fruit, but the coaching staff and front office clearly believed the former Crimson Tide standout could be a difference-maker for them.

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If they are right, and Reichard settles in, he’ll have the opportunity to call the Vikings his home for many years.

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.