In the finale of the offseason position rankings, we’ll look at the kickers and punters for the Detroit Lions and the rest of their NFC North rivals.
We’ve finally reached the end of the NFC Position Rankings list. What better way to end it, than with the players that often close tight matchups. Kickers and punters may not get a lot of love when they are good, but having a bad one on the team can be extremely detrimental.
But before we get into looking at some of the most clutch players on the roster, be sure to check out all the other rankings.
Detroit Lions, NFC North Position Rankings: Quarterbacks
Detroit Lions, NFC North Position Rankings: Running Backs
Detroit Lions, NFC North Position Rankings: Wide Receivers
Detroit Lions, NFC North Position Rankings: Tight Ends
Detroit Lions, NFC North Position Rankings: Offensive Line
Detroit Lions, NFC North Position Rankings: Defensive Line
Detroit Lions, NFC North Position Rankings: Linebackers
Detroit Lions, NFC North Position Rankings: Cornerbacks
Detroit Lions, NFC North Position Rankings: Safeties
For the grand finale, we start with Minnesota who had all kinds of trouble last year.
4. Minnesota Vikings
Last season the Minnesota Vikings finally gave up on the Blair Walsh project. After nine games he was released, due to consistently missing extra points and becoming quite unreliable. Finding a kicker mid-season is not an easy task, and the Vikings ended up bringing in veteran Kai Forbath.
Forbath ended up having a decent season with the Vikings. He was 100% on field goals, but only 11-14 on extra points with one being blocked. A full offseason and some level of team stability should be able to help him have a decent season, and I’m sure Vikings fans hope their kicker problems are over.
The team also signed Marshall Koehn as some camp competition for Forbath. He doesn’t have any regular season experience yet, which will hurt him as the team would most likely want a kicker that can handle NFL pressure situations. Unless he’s kicking moonshots in Minnesota, I don’t see him making this team.
At punter, the Vikings have an actual competition. Ryan Quigley is the veteran but isn’t exactly a great one. He played in six games for the Arizona Cardinals last season and only managed a 41.6 punting average last season.
The other option the Vikings have is UDFA Taylor Symmank. He played the last few seasons at Texas Tech where he compiled 4,325 yards in 99 career punts there. That puts his average at 43.7 which is just higher than Quigley’s. And yes the college game is different, but I think that little extra, along with Quigley being a fringe NFL player, will get Symmank on this team in 2017.
The Vikings coming in fourth really shouldn’t be a surprise. All the uncertainty at the position is something a team should never want.