Vikings Revealed a Sneaky Little Hint on Monday

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The Minnesota Vikings signed former XFL standout kicker Parker Romo last month, but that may not be the fix-all solution.

Vikings Revealed a Sneaky Little Hint on Monday

Ten days before the draft, the club held press conferences with head coach Kevin O’Connell, tight end T.J. Hockenson, and right tackle Brian O’Neill on Monday. And according to O’Connell, an extra kicker could be on the way via the draft or undrafted free agency.

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“It’s a pretty easy evaluation when you put one or two guys competing against each other, possibly more, where you can put them in tougher situations, high-pressure situations, even in front of a training camp crowd or their teammates in the spring with some circumstances on making a kick or missing a kick and you can really start to see how guys respond,” O’Connell told reporters.

For the last three seasons, Greg Joseph held down the fort at kicker, but he did the unthinkable a few weeks ago, signing with the Green Bay Packers, where he’ll compete for a starter’s job against Anders Carlson and Jack Podlesny.

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Until Monday, Romo felt like the odds-on favorite to secure the Vikings’ kicking gig, but that remains to be seen, as O’Connell talked about competition at the spot.

The young head coach continued, “I 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, and any time you can feel confident putting someone out there and knowing they’re going to ring the bell and get you three points that could be the difference in the game, I think it’s critical.”

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

And that sure sounds like another kicker will join the roster — probably in the draft or immediately after.

These are the coveted kickers in this year’s draft:

  • Will Reichard (Alabama)
  • Joshua Karty (Stanford)
  • Harrison Mevis (Missouri)
  • Cam Little (Arkansas)
  • Alex McNulty (Buffalo)

With back-to-back coaching regimes, Minnesota has adored spring and summer kicking battles, so this is nothing new for Vikings fans. However, some believed Romo could be “the guy” in 2024. He still may seize the job, but O’Connell totally opened the door Monday to an additional kicker. In fact, he came close to locking it in.

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In the last two seasons, the aforementioned Joseph finished as a bottom-five kicker in the NFL per field goal percentage but always seemed to convert with games on the line. Romo booted through 17 of 19 field goals in the XFL last year, with a long of 57 yards.

Minnesota has nine picks in this year’s draft, which gets underway on April 25th.

The purple team has drafted two kickers in the last 40 years: Blair Walsh and Daniel Carlson.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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