This is the fourth in a series of position previews for the 2020 NFL draft, which runs April 29-May 1. Today: Kickers
THREE NAMES TO KNOW
Jose Borregales, Miami: A graduate transfer from Florida International, Borregales was named the nation's top kicker with the Lou Groza award in his only season at Miami. It was a nearly perfect year as he made 20 of 22 field goals (one blocked), with a long of 57 yards, and all 37 extra points. He's got the leg and the confidence that'll translate well to the NFL, saying he's converted from 70 yards in practice. "I try to be professional," Borregales said via the Sun-Sentinel, "not get too excited, because I have a tendency of over-celebrating sometimes."
Evan McPherson, Florida: The former top high school recruit at kicker in 2018, McPherson had a very consistent three Gators seasons while making 51 of 60 field goals (85%) – an all-time SEC record – and all but one of 150 extra-point tries. He was especially accurate from inside 40 yards, where he made 94.5% of his field goal attempts, and has shown range up to 55 yards. He was also a top recruit at punter coming out of high school: "I think I can still punt at a pretty high level today," McPherson said via The Draft Network.
Riley Patterson, Memphis: Patterson was one of the nation's best kickers in 2019, when he converted 23 of 25 field goals, including all but one of six attempts from beyond 50 yards. But last season wasn't so consistent, as five of his misses in a 15-for-22 year came from deep. He still made 12 of 14 kicks from inside 50, and had a long of 56 yards, showing the potential that'll put him on an NFL roster this summer.
Quinn Nordin, Michigan: A four-year starter for the Wolverines, Nordin has one of the strongest legs in this NFL Draft and could've slipped under the radar due to a quiet 2020. Before making just 2 of 5 field goals and missing a game to injury last year, Nordin converted 39 of 48 field goals (81%) in his first three seasons, including a 57-yarder in 2019. He's struggled with accuracy from deep and during road games, leaving holes in his projection to the NFL.
The Vikings coaching staff is seeking a fifth kicker in six years after releasing veteran Dan Bailey in March in a cost-cutting move. The team tried to get Bailey to take a restructured deal, according to Bailey's agent, to compete for his job with newcomer Greg Joseph, who signed for $35,000 guaranteed in February. Joseph, the former Buccaneers backup kicker, hasn't been a full-time option since 2018, when he cleared 17 of 20 field goals for the Browns. He has since attempted, and made, nine extra points for the Titans, who swapped him for Stephen Gostkowski in 2019. Joseph is just 26 and, barring a significant draft commitment this month, could get a legitimate shot at the Vikings' job. Minnesota retained punter Britton Colquitt, who took a pay cut worth nearly $1.5 million to return after a down season for special teams. Long snapper Andrew DePaola, who was the midseason replacement for Austin Cutting, also remains on the roster.
VIKINGS' LEVEL OF NEED
Moderate: The Vikings are in the kicker market, which means another addition wouldn't be a surprise after Bailey's December collapse contributed to a pivotal NFC loss at Tampa Bay. Mike Zimmer has expressed regret over the team cutting Daniel Carlson amid his rough NFL start. Can the Vikings be patient with another talented rookie?