The Depth Chart series on Side Lion Report takes a closer look at some of the football players who may go unnoticed on the Detroit Lions depth chart. Be sure to follow this series if you are interested in learning about some of the lesser known players that the Lions are bringing to training camp on July 23.
Jersey #: 3
Unless Jason Hanson is injured during the preseason, Derek Dimke does not stand a chance at making the final roster. However, Dimke would be a great addition to the practice squad as insurance in case Hanson gets hurt during the regular season. Dimke was a very efficient kicker from inside 50-yards in college and could be groomed to be Hanson’s permanent replacement if the Lions see value in him during the preseason. Expect to hear Dimke’s name kicked around a lot this fall in regards to roster moves.
What the experts have to say:
12/31/11 – Scouting the Illinois special teams: Kicker Derek Dimke’s one hiccup all season was costly. He missed a 42-yarder that would have tied the Penn State game as time expired. It was his only miss in nine tries. Dimke made all 32 of his extra point attempts. Punter Justin DuVernois averaged 38.3 yards a kick, but has had problems handling snaps. Ryan Lankford replaced him against Minnesota. – The Sports Xchange
12/05/11 – 2011 ALL-BIG TEN FOOTBALL HONORABLE MENTION (COACHES): Derek Dimke has been selected All-Big Ten Honorable Mention for the 2011 college football season as voted on by the conference coaches. Dimke has missed just one kick all season, hitting 8-of-9 field goals and 32-of-32 extra points. He’s currently the Illinois career leader in field goal and extra point accuracy, hitting 37-of-43 field gals (.861) and all 87 of his extra points as an Illini. – Illinois football
12/05/11 – 2011 ALL-BIG TEN FOOTBALL HONORABLE MENTION (MEDIA): Derek Dimke has been selected All-Big Ten Honorable Mention for the 2011 college football season as voted on by the conference media. Dimke has missed just one kick all season, hitting 8-of-9 field goals and 32-of-32 extra points. He’s currently the Illinois career leader in field goal and extra point accuracy, hitting 37-of-43 field gals (.861) and all 87 of his extra points as an Illini. – Illinois football
09/29/11 – For the first time since 1992, Illinois won back-to-back games by three points or less. Such close games emphasize the excellence of senior kicker Derek Dimke. He’s perfect on six field-goal tries and 15 extra points this season. Dimke is the most accurate field-goal kicker in Illini history (35 of 40) and ranks fourth among active kickers nationally. – The Sports Xchange
09/26/11 – BIG TEN WEEK 4 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Derek Dimke, Illinois, Sr., K, Rockford, Ill./Boylan…Was a perfect 3-for-3 on his field goal attempts in Illinois’ three-point win over Western Michigan…Converted on attempts from 39, 35 and 21, with the final kick giving the Illini the game-winning points…Claims his first weekly award this season and the third of his career. – Big Ten football
Dimke was a three-year starter with average size for a kicker and just average leg strength, but he has been accurate enough throughout his career that he will get a shot at the next level. He is not affected by pressure or weather, and he has been a consistent performer. It will be tough for a team to justify a draft pick on him, but look for Dimke to be competing in a camp this August.
STRENGTHS Dimke is an accurate kicker who is also a kickoff option. He was only 10-for-12 on field goal attempts in his senior year, making one kick from 49 yards out. He isn’t knocking down NFL doors as a guy who will make kicks from more than 50 yards, but he is reliable from shorter distances and has shown enough to deserve a shot.
WEAKNESSES Dimke is not a strong kicker and didn’t attempt any kicks of 50 yards or more in his senior year. A big miss in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against UCLA won’t do anything to help his prospects, but leg strength isn’t Dimke’s calling card, so accuracy within 30-39 yards is key for him.