Instead of waiting until the end of the preseason, the Minnesota Vikings should choose Kai Forbath or Daniel Carlson to be their starting kicker before training camp in July.
The kicking game has never been a friend to the Minnesota Vikings during the team’s history. Too many of the Vikings’ bad memories involve a kicker missing a field goal attempt that goes on to decide the outcome of a game.
So in an attempt to prevent the team from suffering even more kicking woes in the future, Minnesota decided to use one of their selections in the this year’s NFL Draft on Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson.
Since getting drafted, Carlson has been competing to be the Vikings’ starting kicker with Kai Forbath, who the team re-signed last March. Both have been professional about the competition and know that it also brings out the best in each other.
During Minnesota’s OTAs and minicamp this year, the battle between the two has been fairly even. On Wednesday, Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer elaborated on how the kicking competition between Carlson and Forbath has been going this offseason.
"“It’s been very close. Daniel showed how talented he is, he’s got a big leg. He’s done a great job with the kickoffs, obviously. More than likely, I think he should have made a few more of (his) field goals. He’s made, I think 16 of 19, which is not bad. Kai has had one of the better springs, or the best spring he’s had since he’s been here. He’s actually done quite well on kickoffs as well. It’s been a very good competition so far.”"
Priefer went on to mention that Forbath has missed around four or five of his field goal attempts in practice this year as well.
Despite the competition still being pretty close between the two, Minnesota should pick one of them to be their starter for 2018 prior to training camp in July. This decision would benefit both the kickers and the team.
Picking their starter sooner than later would allow either Carlson or Forbath to go into training camp with a little less stress knowing that the job is already theirs. Kickers get rattled pretty easily and if a team has the option of taking a bit of pressure off of their shoulders, then it should be done.
Depending on who the Vikings would select, Carlson or Forbath would also have more time to spend on perfecting their technique in training camp rather than worrying about the competition between each other.
Is this something Minnesota will actually do? Probably not, but it is definitely something they should at least consider.