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Vikings take Alabama's Will Reichard in Round 6 of 2024 NFL Draft to start run on kickers

The kicker market has undergone a bit of a course correction.

The first player at the position was finally selected in the sixth round of the 2024 NFL Draft on Saturday when Minnesota spent the 203rd pick on Alabama's Will Reichard -- although it did begin a run on the position.

Reichard's selection is the latest in which a kicker has been chosen since the Patriots picked Marshall's Justin Rohrwasser in the fifth round (159th overall) in 2020. Since then, thanks to 2021 149th-overall pick Evan McPherson's red-hot run to the Super Bowl with the Bengals as a rookie, kickers have been chosen as early as the third round (San Francisco picked Michigan's Jake Moody 99th overall in 2023) and fourth round (Cleveland chose LSU's Cade York 124th overall in 2022).

This time around, the Vikings waited until the back half of Day 3 to take their expected replacement for Greg Joseph, who left Minnesota for Green Bay this offseason.

Reichard arrives in Minneapolis as a third-team All-American, a two-time Lou Groza Award finalist and the reigning SEC Special Teams Player of the Year, honors earned after setting an FBS record with 547 career points scored. He holds Alabama records with 84 field goals made and 295 extra points converted in his four-year career with the Crimson Tide.

Minnesota has a history of kicker troubles, notoriously dumping Daniel Carlson just two games into his rookie season in a reaction that was undoubtedly tied to the club's uneven experiences with Blair Walsh -- who missed a chip shot to lose a playoff game to Seattle in 2015 -- and Dan Bailey, which bookended a two-year trial with Kai Forbath. Joseph served as Minnesota's kicker from 2021 onward, but after he proved to be inconsistent from 50-plus yards out, the Vikings decided to move on.

They're replacing him with a boot known for making the long-distance attempts: Reichard converted 8 of 10 tries from 50 yards out in his final two seasons with the Crimson Tide. Minnesota will hope he can replicate that success at the NFL level.

The Los Angeles Rams took Stanford kicker Joshua Karty shortly after at No. 209 overall, and the Jacksonville Jaguars made it a trend by selecting Arkansas' Cam Little three picks later at No. 212.

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