Jeff Locke Fails to Appear In Expert Ranking Of NFL’s Top 32 Punters


Bleacher Report NFL writer Matt Miller did a ranking of the top 32 punters in the NFL and guess where the Vikings’ Jeff Locke finished.

More from Minnesota Vikings News

Trick question: Locke failed to make the list of the NFL’s top 32 punters.

This is normally where I would put in a quote from the article but that’s hard to do with this one as there’s no quote on Locke because he didn’t make the list.

Obviously, it’s a huge diss for Locke to not even rank in the top 32 punters when there are only 32 teams in the NFL. The message is clear: Locke is not good enough to be playing in the NFL.

Fair or unfair?

It is my sad duty to report that I think I agree with Matt Miller on this one.

I’m no expert on punting nor have I watched tape on all the punters in the NFL. But here’s what I know about Jeff Locke: He tends to just kick the ball really hard down the middle every time, regardless of the situation.

There’s no doubt that Locke has a strong leg but when it comes to controlling distance and direction, two things I’m told are important in punting, he is woeful.

I mean if want you want is a punter who can consistently put it in the end zone for touchbacks, then Locke is your guy. If you want a punter who can occasionally kill the ball inside the twenty thereby putting the opposing offense in bad field position…better look elsewhere.

Since evaluators all seem to agree on Locke’s suckiness – PFF ranked him 37th in the league last year and 40th the year before – the question is why have the Vikings not signed another punter to give Locke a little competition in camp?

The answer to that is simple: Rick Spielman doesn’t want another punter to come in and beat Locke because then Spielman would look like an even bigger idiot for wasting a fifth round pick on Locke.

This is all on Spielman. Trust me, if Mike Priefer had his way, there would at least be another punter in camp to push Locke. Priefer doesn’t mess around with under-performing players and will gladly create competition, as evidenced by this year’s long-snapper drama.

Why the stubbornness about sticking with Locke? It’s Spielman’s way. Fans love their Slick Rick and believe he’s a genius but he’s not a genius, he’s a GM with a spotty draft record who has a hard time admitting and moving on from his own mistakes.

I wish Rick were the genius people believe him to be because then he would cut Jeff Locke, sign a couple punters and let them duke it out in camp. Instead he’s going to wait it out hoping Locke improves.

If he works really hard and takes his vitamins eventually I guess Locke could become a good enough punter to justify using a 5th on him. Just kidding: he will never be good enough to justify using a 5th. Who drafts a punter in the 5th?

This whole situation with Locke demonstrates why you don’t draft a punter (especially not as high as the 5th). If the Vikings hadn’t used a pick on Locke he’d be gone by now.

Stupid pick, Slick Rick.

Next: Andrew Sendejo works out with steel clubs

More from The Viking Age