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Vikings draft competition for Kluwe

  • Blog Post by: Kent Youngblood
  • April 27, 2013 - 2:22 PM

 

With their fifth-round pick -- the 155th overall -- the Vikings took UCLA punter Jeff Locke in a move that seems eerily reminiscent of last year's decision to draft kicker Blair Walsh.

That decision to take Walsh ultimately meant the end of veteran Ryan Longwell's time with the team. Will the decision to take the left-footed Locke mean Chris Kluwe's time with the Vikings is over?

Locke compiled a career 44.23 punting average in his career at UCLA. As a senior he was named first-team all-Pac-12 and was an honorable mention all-America by SI.com while being a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award. He led conference punters with 34 punts inside the 20-yard line (21 of which were downed at or inside the 10) and added 68 touchbacks on 86 kickoffs.

Kluwe is coming off a season in which his 39.7-yard net average was the best in his eight-year career with the team. Kluwe, of course, is also well-known for his very public stances on the issues of the day. Kluwe is due to be paid $1.45 million this upcoming season. 

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