Don’t Show John Parker Romo This Video of Kwesi Drafting “The Kicker”

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason, the Minnesota Vikings decided to overhaul their special teams. Specifically, at the kicking position when the team decided to move on from tenured kicker Greg Joseph who spent three full seasons with the team.

Joseph had some up and down times in Minnesota, but overall, he was relatively consistent. He finished his Vikings tenure with an 82.2% field goal percentage and a 90.3% extra points made percentage.

Although Joseph was consistent, he wasn’t a game changing kicker. He had his strengths, but he also had critical weaknesses. The Vikings ultimately saw that he hit his ceiling and wanted to upgrade at that position.

John Parker Romo (XFL)

Parker Romo was the first new kicker to enter the covenant this offseason. The Vikings signed free agent Parker Romo in March 2024, who recently played for the San Antonio Brahmas in the 2023 XFL season.

He has yet to kick in a regular season game in the NFL, but he put up some decent numbers in the 2023 XFL season. Parker Romo finished with a 89.5% field goal percentage, with a long of 57 yards.

Overall, he’s got a big leg and has experience playing in the XFL. Remember, the NFL has now changed the way it does kickoffs as they adopted the kickoff format of the XFL. This could be an added bonus for the Vikings this upcoming season.

Will Reichard (Alabama)

The other new kicker Kwesi acquired, Will Reichard, joined the Minnesota Vikings in April when he was selected in the sixth-round of the 2024 NFL Draft. He played five seasons for the University of Alabama and finished as the NCAA all-time leading scorer. Quite the accomplishment, eh? The Vikings’ GM clearly thinks so.

In 2023, Reichard finished with an 88.0% field goal percentage, including 5-for-5 showing from 50-plus yards. He was also perfect on 55 extra point attempts (which are a lot closer than they are in the NFL).

Related: Did the Vikings Tip Their Hand on Which UDFAs Will Make the Roster?

He doesn’t have quite the leg that John Parker Romo does, but Reichard is accurate, effective and has a big enough leg to go 10/10 from 50+ in college. That’s why he was on draft radars, which is not a common thing in today’s NFL Draft era.

Who’s Winning the Minnesota Vikings Kicker Battle?

So, with months remaining between now and the start of the 2024 NFL season, the Minnesota Vikings’ kicker battle has only begun, right. Well, that’s the idea. But is it actually a true kicking battle? If you watch the behind the scenes video of Kwesi pursuing Reichard on Day 3 last month, you might not think so.

In a draft day behind the scenes video, posted by the official Minnesota Vikings social media account, Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah seems enamored with Will Reichard. Going as far as consulting with Head Coach Kevin O’Connell on why they should take Reichard before Michael Jurgens. He refers to Will Reichard as “the kicker” over and over and over during the video.

“If the kicker and Jurgens are there, do you go kicker, assuming Jurgens might be there later? Because the kicker is supposed to be gone by now.”

“It’s more about trying to get both players, who do you have to take sooner? . I think the kicker will go sooner than Jurgens. I mean, we have our targets. We do all this work for this. Let’s get our targets that we want.”

Minnesota Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah making sure he gets Alabama kicker Will Reichard.

It’s pretty clear in the video that Adofo-Mensah was locked in on drafting Reichard. As mentioned earlier, it’s not very common for an NFL team to spend draft capital selecting a kicker in the NFL Draft.

Related: Will Justin Jefferson Show Up For Any Minnesota Vikings Offseason Workouts?

With the way Adofo-Mensah spoke about Reichard and the draft capital invested in him, it seems to me like Reichard is the favorite to win the Vikings kicking battle. In the end, we’ll find out officially in the coming months.

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