Caleb Sturgis to Dolphins: How Does the K Fit with Miami?
If the draft community is to be believed, Sturgis wasn't even the best kicker available—that honor belonged to Dustin Hopkins. But the Dolphins were reportedly high on Sturgis before the draft, and he is every bit as good as Hopkins.
There is no clearer role on a team than the kicker, save perhaps who will be handling kickoff duties.
Sturgis will become the team's field-goal specialist, barring any unforeseen injuries or off-field issues. Dan Carpenter is due $2.68 million, a hefty sum for an above-average kicker. It's not as if Carpenter has been terrible for the Dolphins, but he hasn't been automatic either.
What grade do you give the pick?
Cutting Carpenter would give Miami a bit more flexibility to make other moves. Perhaps Eric Winston is waiting in the wings at right tackle, or the Dolphins could wind up trading for Branden Albert and signing him to a big contract after all.
As for who will handle those kickoff duties, Brandon Fields might be that man during Sturgis' rookie season. But it shouldn't be surprising if Sturgis steps in right away.
If woebegone Dolphins fans worried about a stagnant offense—despite the addition of Mike Wallace and Dustin Hopkins—are right, Sturgis might have a heavy workload as a rookie. He has good accuracy, even from deep, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him hit a high percentage of his attempts.
His statistics at Florida are certainly promising:
Sturgis was the most prolific kicker in Florida history. Not only was he great over his last two seasons, but he was lethal from long range.
Last Fins kicker tidbit: Last year, Sturgis was 3 for 3 on FGs of 50 yards or more. 5-6 from 40 to 49.— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) April 27, 2013
He should be fine at the next level.
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