Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 6/1/12
ST. LOUIS New Rams coach Jeff Fisher doesnt remember ever drafting a kicker in his near 30-year career as an NFL coach. I dont believe I have, Fisher said. Must say something about how he and the Rams feel about Greg Zuerlein. The Rams drafted Zuerlein out of Missouri Western with the first pick of the sixth round (No. 171 overall) in the recent NFL Draft, making him the first kicker from a non-BCS school to be drafted since Stephen Gostkowski of Memphis went to the New England Patriots in the fourth round in 2006. And while he may come from a small school, he apparently has quite the leg. Zuerlein was a perfect nine-for-nine on field-goal attempts from beyond 50 yards last season, twice hitting them from 58 yards. He was named a NCAA Division II All-American after making a Division-II record 21 straight field goals and leading the nation with 2.3 field goals per game. Asked what they liked about Zuerlein, Fisher pointed to his productive college statistics and a pair of workouts with Special Teams coach John Fassel. Coach Fassel went out and did private workouts with a number of kickers and punters and he came back and literally was blown away at the leg, the distance on the kickoffs and the distance and accuracy in the field goal game, Fisher said. Twenty-three-of-24 and nine over 50 yards. Two over 58 in one game thats extraordinary. We felt like this was going to be a need. We need to upgrade the position and we couldnt pass on this opportunity. The Rams felt enough of Zuerlein to not only draft him in the sixth round, but to immediately cut ties with veteran kicker Josh Brown by releasing him the next day. The move signals the rookies place as the starter from Day 1. After kicking in the East-West Shrine Game, Zuerlein performed in private workouts for the Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings. And after his workout for the Rams about a month before the draft didnt go as well as he would have liked, the Nebraska native wasnt sure what would happen. Then came a phone call from Fassel just a week before the draft, asking if he could come to the Missouri Western campus in St. Joseph, Mo., to see Zuerlein kick again. This one went much better. My first workout, I wasnt happy with my kickoffs, Zuerlein said. My second workout I thought it went decent. It can always go better until I hit every ball perfect. Then Id be happy with it. But it went alright. I didnt feel I hit the ball that great that (first) day. It must have been just good enough. They saw something that they liked, so I think thats encouraging going into the future. I can perform better than what they saw, I feel, and hopefully I can do that. The Rams obviously liked what they saw, making him the first kicker from Division-II or lower to be drafted since Paul Ernster of Northern Arizona went to the Denver Broncos in the seventh round of the 2005 draft. Zuerlein kicked at Nebraska-Omaha for three seasons before a hip injury forced him to miss the 2010 season. When Nebraska-Omaha ended its football program, Zuerlein transferred to Missouri Western for his final year of eligibility. But despite kicking at the Division-II level last year, Zuerlein doesnt figure to get spooked by the bright lights of the NFL when he takes the field this fall. It doesnt matter what class youre in, in high school or what division of football you play, the field goal posts are the same, Zuerlein said. If you can do it at any level in college, it should translate to the NFL. The Rams sure hope that to be the case.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker