Originally posted on DraftAce  |  Last updated 5/7/12

The Minnesota Vikings cut veteran Ryan Longwell today, paving the way for 6th-round pick Blair Walsh to take over as the starting kicker.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise based on the fact that you don’t typically draft kickers without a plan to immediately make them the starter. But given Longwell’s track record and Walsh’s lack of one, it’s a questionable move.

Walsh immediately steps in as the starter

Entering his senior year, Walsh looked like an elite prospect and was potentially on track to become the first kicker selected within the first three rounds since Mike Nugent in 2005. But Walsh crumbled under pressure as a senior, connecting on just 21 of 35 field goal attempts.

Walsh stood out for his impressive accuracy and range, connecting on 17 of 20 kicks from beyond 40 yards in his sophomore and junior years. But in 2011, Walsh made just 7 of 17 kicks beyond 40. Walsh also missed four kicks from under 40 yards, twice as many as he had missed during the previous two years combined.

Clearly he has the talent, but how will he handle the pressure of the NFL? That’s something the Vikings probably should have figured out before cutting ties with Longwell.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

DeMarcus Cousins was ‘praying’ for a better supporting cast with Sacramento

Report: Nets trading Bojan Bogdanovic to Wizards

Elliott spoke with police after 'best friend' caught with gun

Jets reportedly believe Jay Cutler can compete in AFC East

Report: 'Melo could waive no-trade clause for Clippers after season

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rivers: Paul medically cleared to play, could return Thursday

Trea Turner missed part of Nats camp Wedneday for jury duty

Hernandez's prison calls to Pouncey could come up in trial

Josh Hamilton experiences pain in reconstructed knee, leaves camp

Report: Pacers gauging trade market for Paul George

Washington eyeing Romo as potential Cousins replacement?

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

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 top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

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