The Kicker Position: Not Just for Kicks

Kyle JensenContributor IApril 20, 2008

Everyone knows the kicker isn't a true "football player" if you will.  It's obvious because all he does is...well, kick a football!!

But that doesn't mean that the kicker can't get respect, so I'm going to show some love for the almighty kicker position.

Part of my reason for writing this article is because I grew up and graduated high school with that kicker from Wisconsin; Taylor Mehlhaff.   So when you google search his name, and his potential in the draft, you have to look a little further than the quarterbacks and wide receivers.

So we'll use Mehlhaff as an example for this article, he was one half of possibly the best kicking tandem in college football in recent years (the punter was Ken DeBauche).

In high school, Mehlhaff kicked a 54 yard field goal.  After a safety, he kicked the ball 70 yards in the air before landing into the end zone for a touch back (a kick I will never forget, you can find it on one of his videos on

During college, while I was working for a radio station, I was watching one of his games on TV.  I believe this was freshman year of college, and Ted Ginn Jr. was about to run a kick return for a touchdown, and then Mehlhaff gave him a good lick and knocked him out of bounds (he was an all-state hockey player in high school as well).

Now that we have established that not all kickers are wimps, let's go to their job.  

The kicking position is not easy to say the least.  My school has a domed stadium, and a couple of times my older brother and I went kicking field goals, I don't think I kicked one past 30 yards.

These guys sometimes are expected to make it past 50 yards, with a defense trying to block them, and sometimes in nasty weather.

Sebastian Janikowski was actually picked 18th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft.  Teams used to just never draft kickers, but eventually started to realize the value of the position.

Mehlhaff said that there are some teams interested in him, he had a couple of workouts with Baltimore and Atlanta recently.  He said he has a pretty good chance of going to Kansas City though.  

That seems very likely too since the Chiefs have 3 picks in the fifth round, and most people project Mehlhaff to be a fifth rounder. 

Anyway, with the glitz and glammer that most of the other players are noticed, the kicker can not be forgotten.  Especially with the possibility of either being clutch like Adam Vinatieri, or hearing "Wide Right" the rest of your life like Scott Norwood.