There's a new big leg in town.
The Vikings aren't settled with Kai Forbath after trading up in the fifth round of the NFL draft for Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson on Saturday. He became the highest drafted kicker (167th overall) in Vikings history, surpassing Blair Walsh (174th in 2012).
And Carlson can kick a field goal well over 55 yards.
"Depending on altitude and weather," he said, "I've hit quite a few kicks over 50-plus during the past few years. During private workouts, we backed it up to 65 — made those.
"With the altitude [in Colorado], I was hitting from 75."
So Carlson could have a decent showing during the Vikings' Aug. 11 preseason opener at Denver. That will be important during an offseason competition with incumbent Forbath, who re-signed on a one-year deal after making 84.2 percent of his field goals in 2017.
Range for a kicker is a preferred trait by Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer. So when Carlson paired that with 15 consecutive field goals during a private workout, the Vikings were sold.
"He has a tremendous leg," General Manager Rick Spielman said. "I know coach Priefer, when he worked him out, was very impressed."
Carlson converted every extra point at Auburn (albeit from the 2-yard line) and made 90 percent of his field-goal attempts from 39 yards or closer. Forbath missed an NFL-high five extra points — the 33-yard variety — last season.
Hoops to NFL hopeful
Vikings' fifth-round pick Tyler Conklin was a scholarship basketball player at Northwood University in Michigan when he decided to transfer and be a walk-on tight end at Central Michigan.
After sitting out the 2015 season, Conklin flourished in football for two seasons, with 77 catches for 1,064 yards and 11 touchdowns. He hopes to be another former college basketball player who makes the leap to NFL tight end.
"Being able to judge the ball, ball skills," he said, "the way you can use your body, the little stuff like that. I think those are all things that translate perfect."
Pettway will join
After the draft, the frenzy begins for teams to sign undrafted players. The Vikings began making those calls Saturday night, adding a bruising runner right away.
The team is signing Auburn's Kamryn Pettway, according to a league source. The 6-foot, 233-pound running back earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors in 2016 after rushing for 1,224 yards in 10 games but played only five games last season because of a fractured shoulder blade.
The Vikings plan to finalize the 2018 undrafted free agent class Sunday, Spielman said, adding, "We were pretty aggressive in going out and getting some guys."
Bradford trade 'done'
Thanks to the Vikings, the Super Bowl champion Eagles again added to their defensive line. With the Vikings' original fourth-round pick Saturday, Philadelphia drafted Florida State defensive end Josh Sweat.
That pick was the final piece of the Vikings' 2016 trade for quarterback Sam Bradford, which sent a 2017 first-round pick and the fourth-round selection to Philadelphia. The Eagles used the first pick on defensive end Derek Barnett.
Star Tribune staff writer Ben Goessling contributed to this report.