Caleb Sturgis to Dolphins: How Does the K Fit with Miami?

Alessandro MiglioFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2013

GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 01:  Caleb Sturgis #19 of the Florida Gators kicks off during the game against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins continued their effort to create a new campus for the Florida Gators by taking Caleb Sturgis, their third player from that school.

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.

 

Role

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.

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.

 

Early Projections

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:

Year XPM XPA XP% FGM FGA FG% Pts
2008 2 2 100 0 0
2
2009 44 47 93.6 22 30 73.3 110
2010 19 21 90.5 2 4 50 25
2011 31 31 100 22 26 84.6 97
2012 34 35 97.1 24 28 85.7 106
Career 130 136 95.6 70 88 79.5 340

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.