Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings 2012 Draft: Sorting through the kicker conundrum

Posted by: Updated: April 23, 2013 - 7:46 AM
The Vikings will head into this weekend’s NFL Draft with 11 picks overall and confidence riding high after the front office assembled a terrific 2012 draft class. To get the inside story on how last year’s draft weekend unfolded, make sure to read today’s story on the ins and outs, ups and downs of that experience. Here now is the quick look back at all 10 players the Vikings selected last year. In this installment, we look at the Vikings picks from Rounds 6-7.
 
BLAIR WALSH, Georgia kicker
 
Selected: Sixth round, 175th overall
 
Rookie year summary: Walsh may wind up being the biggest steal of the entire 2012 draft. He emerged as an instant All-Pro, booting 35 field goals in 38 attempts and making all 10 of his tries from 50 yards or longer. He book-ended the Vikings’ regular season with game-winning kicks, capping a rally to beat Jacksonville in overtime in Week 1 and then upsetting the Packers with a last-second kick 16 weeks later. That kick pushed the Vikings into the playoffs.
 
Draft notable: Walsh was one of three kickers drafted, plucked by the Vikings 14 picks after Houston selected Randy Bullock and four picks after the Rams nabbed Greg Zuerlein. With veteran Ryan Longwell still on the roster, the Vikings’ move to get a kicker seemed puzzling when it happened. The Vikings waited until after the team’s rookie mini-camp to officially cut ties with Longwell.
 
Front office thoughts: “It was never the leg strength that was a question with Blair. It was the accuracy. But [special teams coach Mike] Priefer spent a lot of time on him and put in a lot of effort to find that there were a few tweaks for the accuracy. Beyond that, the kid was as A-plus as you could get and fit everything we want. … The biggest anxiety I think I had was at that rookie mini-camp. The first time he kicked his first field goal, I was like, ‘Oh, man. What are we in for?’ The media’s out there watching. Blair’s under a spotlight and especially at that position. It’s not like in that forum, people are going to notice an offensive linemen moving a little slow or a receiver maybe bobbling a ball. But at kicker? That is spotlighted there. And I think with Coach Frazier and myself and with Prief, once we got out of that rookie mini-camp, we just knew.” -- Rick Spielman, GM
 
AUDIE COLE
 
Selected: Seventh round, 210th overall
 
Rookie year summary: Cole became a local cult hero for a brief time in August after he delivered two interception return touchdowns within 13 seconds of each other during a preseason home win over Buffalo. During the regular season, he was active for only five of 16 games, playing strictly on special teams.
 
Draft notable: The Vikings were simply looking to add to the depth of their linebacking corps and saw Cole as a guy who had moved around as a linebacker at N.C. State and has some potential.
 
Front office thoughts: “Audie was a big, athletic player in college. And we liked his versatility. We were looking for some depth there and maybe a guy who could cross-train like we thought he could. He certainly had a lot of value that late. He came in played well in the preseason and now we’re in a wait-and-see deal with how far he can come professionally. He’s got the physical traits you’re looking for. He’s smart and he’s diligent. And this is important to him. That’s a big deal.” -- Scott Studwell, Director of college scouting
 
TREVOR GUYTON
 
Selected: Seventh round, 219th overall
 
Rookie year summary: Guyton was the only member of the 2012 draft class to not make the final roster. He was let go in the final wave of cuts in late-August.
 
Draft notable: Guyton was the only defensive lineman the Vikings drafted last year with hopes that he could emerge as a reliable back-up at tackle.
 
Front office thoughts: “Trevor was probably one of those guys who was a good college player but our league was maybe just too big for him, to be honest with you. Talent-wise, physically, sometimes that jump is too much.” -- Studwell

ADVERTISEMENT

Golden State 99 FINAL
Cleveland 110
Oklahoma City 5 1st Qtr 5:01
Phoenix 17
Vancouver 3 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Arizona 3 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Montreal 5 FINAL
Columbus 2
Philadelphia 2 FINAL
Toronto 3
Chicago 3 FINAL
Florida 0
St. Louis 2 FINAL(SO)
Winnipeg 1
Minnesota 3 3rd Prd 4:19
Nashville 2
Ottawa 0 1st Prd 4:33
Los Angeles 0
Detroit 0 1st Prd 5:27
San Jose 1
Northern Ky 78 FINAL
Kennesaw St 53
East Tenn St 73 FINAL
Citadel 74
Winthrop 50 FINAL
Campbell 65
Delaware 58 FINAL
Drexel 44
Jacksonville St 57 FINAL
Eastern Ky 63
Northeastern 65 FINAL
Elon 72
Sacred Heart 90 FINAL
Fair-Dickinson 85
Western Carolina 49 FINAL
Furman 53
Char Southern 81 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Western Ill 66 FINAL
IUPUI 71
Nebraska Omaha 73 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 67
Radford 69 FINAL
Liberty 80
St Francis-NY 74 FINAL
Long Island 69
Wofford 76 FINAL
Mercer 72
Minnesota 96 FINAL
Michigan State 90
High Point 75 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 71
Samford 67 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 81
Nebraska 57 FINAL
Ohio State 81
Wagner 59 FINAL
Robert Morris 91
Mount St Marys 60 FINAL
St Francis-PA 63
Houston 54 FINAL
Temple 66
Vanderbilt 73 FINAL
Tennessee 65
Chattanooga 86 FINAL
Va Military 82
Milwaukee 61 FINAL
Wright State 58
Coastal Carolina 69 FINAL
Presbyterian 80
Central Conn St 69 FINAL
Bryant 77
Ga Southern 77 FINAL
Appalachian St 58
SIU Edwardsville 61 FINAL
Austin Peay 64
Green Bay 72 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 67
Texas-El Paso 60 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 77
FIU 69 FINAL
Marshall 87
Rider 63 FINAL
Monmouth 60
Eastern Ill 57 FINAL
Murray State 65
Charlotte 65 FINAL
North Texas 81
North Dakota St 58 FINAL
Oral Roberts 74
Old Dominion 63 FINAL
Rice 54
TX-San Antonio 66 FINAL
Southern Miss 70
UT Martin 69 FINAL
Tennessee St 52
Fla Atlantic 68 FINAL
Western Ky 71
Northern Ariz 85 FINAL
North Dakota 75
Grand Canyon 70 FINAL
Chicago State 74
Utah Valley U 50 FINAL
UMKC 69
ULM 75 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Texas-Arlington 80 FINAL
Arkansas State 81
Georgia State 83 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 92
Troy 61 FINAL
Texas State 67
Arizona 82 FINAL
Colorado 54
SMU 66 2nd Half 0:50
Memphis 57
Tenn Tech 66 2nd Half 2:09
Morehead State 82
Rutgers 66 2nd Half 2:43
Purdue 81
Southern Utah 64 FINAL
Northern Colorado 77
Montana State 68 FINAL
Eastern Wash 92
UC Davis 30 2nd Half 19:14
UC Santa Barbara 30
UC Irvine 44 2nd Half 17:40
Cal Poly 34
Cal State Fullerton 39 2nd Half 19:08
CS-Northridge 39
Montana 33 2nd Half
Idaho 24
BYU 33 2nd Half
Portland 41
Pacific 22 2nd Half 20:00
Santa Clara 19
Arizona State 7 1st Half 8:25
Utah 17
San Diego 10:00 PM
Gonzaga
St Marys-CA 10:00 PM
San Francisco
Oregon State 10:00 PM
Stanford
Long Beach State 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Rice 68 FINAL
Old Dominion 83
Manhattan 67 FINAL
Monmouth 84
Georgia Southern 39 FINAL
Appalachian St 66
Marshall 74 FINAL
FIU 50
TX-Arlington 62 FINAL
Arkansas State 67
ULM 45 FINAL
South Alabama 38
Troy 75 FINAL
Texas State 59
Georgia State 39 FINAL
Ark-Little Rock 56
William & Mary 84 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 55
Delaware 68 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
UMBC 41 FINAL
Maine 61
UMass Lowell 72 FINAL
Vermont 64
Albany 65 FINAL
Hartford 50
Stony Brook 68 FINAL
Binghamton 59
Boston College 60 FINAL
(8) Louisville 77
(23) Syracuse 60 FINAL
Clemson 55
(16) Duke 62 FINAL
Georgia Tech 71
Florida 53 FINAL
Alabama 49
NC State 52 FINAL
(9) Florida State 72
Miami-Florida 59 FINAL
Wake Forest 60
LSU 57 FINAL
Ole Miss 58
(11) Miss State 50 FINAL
(2) South Carolina 69
Fairfield 74 FINAL
Iona 62
Marist 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 66
Quinnipiac 91 FINAL
Rider 53
Virginia 70 FINAL
(15) North Carolina 72
Pittsburgh 59 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 87
Ohio State 88 FINAL
Penn State 70
Massachusetts 60 FINAL
Dayton 69
(22) George Washington 81 FINAL
Richmond 69
Saint Louis 53 FINAL
Rhode Island 68
Wright State 74 FINAL
Detroit 59
Green Bay 70 FINAL
Oakland 55
Western Ky 85 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 74
Indiana 72 FINAL
(5) Maryland 83
North Texas 46 FINAL
Charlotte 71
Central Arkansas 64 FINAL
Sam Houston St 56
SE Louisiana 60 FINAL
Northwestern St 71
Nicholls 63 FINAL
New Orleans 68
Incarnate Word 44 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 58
Denver 68 FINAL
No Dakota State 87
IUPU-Ft Wayne 61 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 70
IUPUI 53 FINAL
South Dakota 69
Lamar 77 FINAL
McNeese State 98
Western Ill 49 FINAL
South Dakota St 69
Missouri 70 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 69
(13) Kentucky 56 FINAL
Arkansas 51
(20) Rutgers 60 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 80
Southern Miss 61 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 59
Wisconsin 74 FINAL
(17) Iowa 78
North Dakota 68 FINAL
Northern Ariz 72
Northern Colorado 88 FINAL
Southern Utah 66
Louisiana Tech 0 Postponed
Texas-El Paso 0
Eastern Washington 53 FINAL
Montana State 63
Idaho 68 FINAL
Montana 81
Auburn 70 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(6) Tennessee 70 FINAL
Georgia 59
Gonzaga 62 FINAL
San Diego 75
USC 48 FINAL
Washington 60
Portland 63 FINAL
BYU 65
(24) California 74 FINAL
Oregon 59
(19) Stanford 69 FINAL
(7) Oregon State 58
Chicago State 49 FINAL
Grand Canyon 73
UMKC 50 1st OT 0:38
Utah Valley U 58
San Francisco 65 FINAL
St Marys-CA 62
UCLA 51 2nd Half 18:40
Washington St 51
Santa Clara 26 2nd Half 18:15
Pacific 51
CS-Northridge 36 2nd Half
Cal State Fullerton 25
UC Santa Barbara 21 2nd Half 17:12
Cal-Irvine 29
Hawaii 19 2nd Half
Long Beach St 22
Cal Poly 29 2nd Half
UC Davis 22
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT