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Combine Memories: Blair Walsh

Posted by Mike Wobschall on February 21, 2013 – 11:50 am

No, we haven’t yet seen a blistering-fast 40-yard dash time from a cornerback or receiver. We haven’t witnessed a defensive lineman or offensive lineman put up a herculean effort in the bench press. And no quarterbacks or middle linebackers have yet to craft a perfect Wonderlic score. But it’s only because  they haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet.

Before much of that can occur, it’ll be the place kickers who take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium for their on-field work. That will take place on Friday. While it may not be as interesting to pay attention to the on-field performances of the place kickers, it’s still an important part of the Combine process. Look no further than your very own Vikings for an illustration of that point. It was after an impressive Combine showing and then a pre-draft visit from Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer that put Blair Walsh on the Vikings map a year ago.

“Tremendous kickoff leg,” Vikings GM Rick Spielman quickly said when asked to reflect on Walsh’s Combine performance last year. “And then Mike Priefer seeing some technical flaws that he had and then when we went down and worked him out in Athens (GA), how quickly he adapted to some of the stuff that Mike adjusted with him.”

The Vikings were rewarded for doing their due diligence on a kicker before, during and after the Combine. Eventually the Vikings tabbed Walsh with a 6th-round choice and he went on to have a Pro Bowl rookie season, converting 35 of 38 FG tries and hitting 10 of 10 attempts from 50+ yards along the way. He also set a team record for touchbacks and he finished the regular season with 141 points, the second-highest scoring season in team history.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 64 Comments »


64 Responses to “Combine Memories: Blair Walsh”

  1. By WRHopkins2013 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Air Blair !!!!…. ;-)

    Steal of the draft !!!!…

  2. By GrandDaddyPurp on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I’m scared to post another blog might come up.

  3. By BlueBird7 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Very true, He might like to meet that cude little kicker named Lauren Silberman.

  4. By GrandDaddyPurp on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

  5. By vikes- or - die on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I like that story. Let’s draft that QB Klien from K- State in the 6th and tweak him like we did Walsh so we have a back up QB

  6. By Parkway on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    It’s reassuring listening to that spielman presser. He’s going to have another great draft.

  7. By vikes- or - die on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Spielman is a smart SOB. We are very lucky Wilf had the smarts to make him our GM.

  8. By WRHopkins2013 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1538126-dee-milliner-reportedly-will-undergo-shoulder-surgery-after-2013-nfl-combine

  9. By vikings rule on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    why isn’t Percey in that photo in the right? they have the d ork Ponder in that picture

  10. By WRHopkins2013 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Would_Vikings_stick_with_Joe_Webb_as_backup_QB_GM_wont_rule_it_out022113

  11. By liito on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Blair was one of the great draft picks last year. Hopefully, this year will bring on some game changing, dominant, nasty, and humble players. Any punters that stand out?

  12. By Northern Norseman on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I am telling you right now…..

    Do not be surprised that if DE Ezekiel Ansah is sitting at #23, that the Vikings draft him.

    You heard it here first.

    DE Ezekiel Ansah could possibly be the Vikings first round selection if he is still available at #23.

  13. By iaVIKE on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    With Jared, B-Rob and Ev Griffen on the roster?

  14. By Parkway on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Yeah we aren’t going to take a DE in the first can guarantee that

  15. By Northern Norseman on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    @iaVIKE

    Every single player you listed are all entering the final year of their contracts and will be unrestricted free agents next year. (Allen, Robison, and Griffen)

    Doesn’t seem to far of stretch now does it?

    Even if it’s not Ezekiel Ansah… if there is a DE that is ranked very high and falls just enough to #23, I will not be surprised at all if the Vikings select him.

    Reminds me a lot of when the Vikings drafted TE Kyle Rudolph a couple of years ago. Some though that was a foolish selection. “We have Kleinsasser and Shianco!” Well little did they know that Kleinsasser, Shianco, and Dugan I believe were all entering the final year of their contracts and as you can see non of them were resigned. Makes you glad we have Kyle Rudolph now right?

    It’s a very similar situation with our DEs this year. You have to see what this team will look like within the next 3 years at every position. You don’t pass on a guy because you might be set at the position that next year when the year or two after you may actually be very depleted and weak at that very same position.

    So to anyone else that says they guarantee the Vikings won’t draft a DE in the first round…… (Parkway) just simply don’t see the big picture. Not saying it WILL happen but it’s a very REAL possibility.

  16. By Champ Henson on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Spielman said that the draft is deep with OL and DL players which might indicated that he will be selecting players in thos positions later in the draft. He also stressed that he favors a strong middle on both sides of the line. Looks to me that he will likely go with receivers early (unlike last year) then possibly LB’ers.
    But who knows….I hope he has some rabbits in the hat and surprizes us all.

  17. By Champ Henson on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Wether or not is it a DE, NT or LB the vikings need somebody who can get to and sack the nfc quarterbacks.

  18. By Parkway on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Ansah is only projected 16 (CBS) and 21 (ESPN) so falling to 23 isn’t really a huge gap worthy of taking a position we don’t really need.

    I don’t really like Ansah anyway, he has one “move” which is a bullrush. If Werner fell to our spot then I wouldn’t consider it foolish to take a DE at that point.

  19. By vikes- or - die on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    One free agent i really like is WR Danny Amendola. I would love to see us steal him away from the rams.

  20. By PurplHaze on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    We really don’t need another slot guy (Amendola). We’re already loaded at that position. We need an outside BIG body to catch the b@LL in the end zone.

    We need a C Carter and P Williams replacement at the top of this draft.

  21. By Parkway on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    With Spielman’s comments today, I’m 98 percent sure we will take a ILB or DT in the first round. I just hope it’s not Teo or Jenkins.

  22. By Northern Norseman on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    @Parkway

    That’s why I said it doesn’t HAVE to be Ansah but that if a high quality DE is sitting at #23 and the Vikings draft him don’t be surprised. Who knows…. that DE could just happen to be Ezekiel Ansah….. just saying.

    You say you don’t like Ezekiel Ansah because he has one “move”. First I would say he has more than one move but I will agree that he is limited. He is a very raw and unpolished prospect. He hasn’t been playing football for a long time at all. His ceiling his off the charts, though, in terms of athleticism, has no character flaws, no off the field trouble, and has overall great measurables. He is young and can get a lot better as he learns more.

    Jared Allen doesn’t have a lot of moves at his disposal and he has done fine. Even Jared Allen has said before that Ray Edwards had more moves than he did…… look how all that has turned out. It’s not about having a million different moves. It’s about having a select amount of moves that you can do very well.

    Again, I’m not trying to stand here defending Ezekiel Ansah. Just saying that he has a very high ceiling and could be a real impact at the next level. AND Regardless if it’s Ansah or some other DE, I am just stating the fact that DE in the first round is a REAL possibility even though myself thinks it’s more likely to be a DT or WR.

  23. By BlueBird7 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    WBHopkins2013

    On Joe Webb article. Could it be Spielman sees a Kurt Warner in Joe Webb?

    Kurt Warner went from stocking Supermarkets to two Superbowls..

    Kurt also was MVP Three times. All the Experts said Kurt was not a QB either.

  24. By Northern Norseman on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I personally still think that Ogletree is the most intriguing prospect the Vikings could draft.

    The fact that he is an athletic freak, has great measurables, and is a LB/S hybrid would be such a great dynamic player to have on defense.

    I understand that he has a DUI but Jared Allen had about 2-3 so I think that it’s more of a maturity issue.

    Still I am very surprised that Ogletrees stock really has not taken much of a hit by looking at all these mock drafts. He is still going before #23 in nearly all of them and I’m sure he will go early come draft day anyways.

    P.S. I really hope the Packers draft Manti Teo because we’ll get to make fun of him and the Packers all the time.

  25. By Northern Norseman on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    @BlueBird7

    What are you talking about? (Kurt Warner/ Joe Webb comparisons)

  26. By GrandDaddyPurp on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    If a DE is the best player on Spielman’s board when we’re on the clock, he will draft that player.

  27. By BlueBird7 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Northern Norseman

    I really enjoy your postings as you do show some class, however, read mine again.

    I meant in fact Kurt Warner was almost thrown under the Train in the past.

    I was NOT comparing the two AT THIS Stage of the game. Just saying.

  28. By BlueBird7 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Where would Kurt Warner have been if all the “Experts” had given up on him.

    Almost like they now want to do now with Webb……………………..

  29. By Northern Norseman on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    @BlueBird7

    Got it.

    Yeah I wasn’t disagreeing…. I just didn’t see what you were saying

    I agree exactly with what your point.

    We live in this ridiculous impatient/quick-reaction society where if it’s not best and greatest right now in this very second then it’s time to move on, fire, cut, release, bench, and so on. Sometimes you have to just let the process play out before you can make a solid judgement/evaluation on something.

  30. By vikes- or - die on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I can’t wait to see what Spielman does, because you know it’s gonna be good. Hopefully we will have a better grip on it once FA is over. Ya, I understand draft the Best player available, but at 23 the options are a bit more open I would think.

  31. By vikings rule on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    let’s just ignore the combine and just watch the senior bowl and pick a qb like we did with Ponder.

  32. By Spencer on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Drafting a DE in the first round? C’mon guys…

  33. By vikes- or - die on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    If the guy is a kick @ss DE with versatility. I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

  34. By Northern Norseman on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    @Spencer

    Go up and read my reason for why it’s possibility for the Vikings to draft a DE in the first round.

    Do I think it’ll happen?…. Most likely not.

    I just am stating the possibility for a DE because after this next season going into the 2014 season, Jared Allen, Brian Robison, and Everson Griffen will all be unrestricted free agents.

    I personally think it’ll most likely be a WR or DT that the Vikings draft 1st round. I just think it’s odd how others on here see that it’s just absurd draft talk to think that the Vikings would have the audacity to draft a DE first round…… I think that if there is a DE high on the Vikings draft board that is sitting at #23…. don’t get all wound up or shocked because it makes sense for the teams future as ‘nearly’ every DE we have will have their contracts ending after this next season.

    No one is saying they WILL draft a DE or that they SHOULD draft a DE….. just giving reasons why it’s an actually realistic outcome given if there is a high graded DE that falls to #23.

    So I say to you…….. c’mon man…. don’t you get it?

  35. By GrandDaddyPurp on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    “You can never have enough pass rushers”

    -Bill Belichick

  36. By GrandDaddyPurp on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I agree it probably wont happen but you never know.

  37. By Spencer on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    I’d take Linebacker, CB, FS, and DT before I would draft a DE in the first round. We don’t have a need there. It’s just that simple.

  38. By GrandDaddyPurp on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Dont forget WR and OG.

  39. By GrandDaddyPurp on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Ill have my eyes on Leon Sandcastle during the combine. We could sure use that guy.

  40. By Spencer on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Leon Sandcastle at his current age could probably cover a WR better than JRob right now..

  41. By GrandDaddyPurp on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Leon Sandcastle at his current age could probably stay healthier than Cook right now…

  42. By vikings rule on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    ouch

  43. By GrandDaddyPurp on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Both are true statements.

  44. By GrandDaddyPurp on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    lol

  45. By 4eversteve on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Steal of the draft this will be De’andre Hopkins

  46. By john61 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    please a dt in the frist

  47. By 4eversteve on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    We definitely need a WR and DT toward the top half this draft. The receiving core if that what you want o call it was pathetic at best and we got no inside pressure from our DT’s this pass season to help out our DE’s who put all kinds of pressure from the outside , the problem with that is the quarterback were able to step up into the pocket UN-harrassed from the interior D-line allowing them to pick us apart in the passing as a result, the secondary can only cover for so long, that part of the Vikings defense for being so young played well, ok well Winfields not so young anymore but that dude is baller and sure as heck is leading by example. I know we LB’s as well. I like the kid Klein mlb. out of Iowa St, the dude is a tackling machine, I’m not sure if Audie Cole is ready yet, but he sure looked last preseason.

  48. By Spencer on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Haha GDP, knew you were gonna make a dig at Cook.

  49. By GrandDaddyPurp on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Ha I just couldnt help myself.

  50. By PurplHaze on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Anybody’s guess what Andy’s fishing for…..

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000143424/article/andy-reid-kansas-city-chiefs-open-to-trading-top-pick

    Could he be looking for Rick to show interest?

  51. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    What’s that interview with Rich Gannon? Reminds me how we traded him, never utilizing him– don’t make the same mistake with Ponder or MBT.

  52. By Jeremy on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Why would we trade for the first pick in the draft when the “experts” think that this would be one of the worst years to have the first pick because the talent level is not separated by much within atleast the first round ….we need to stay where we are and see who falls to us because someone great will..

    Margus Hunt possibly…Cordarrelle Patterson hopefully…but im guessing we will take Te’o..

    Spielman even said there are no “splash players”…who knows though given Vikings trade history

  53. By larrywtimm on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    There are very few qbs in the league who could have had success with the receivers we have. I do not think Ponder is the problem. No, I’m not ready to say he is great, but he is capable of being good. Again, without smart, tough receivers, Ponder is a sitting duck and has–at times–tried to do to much. I believe he will be good next year–and with better recievers–he will be very good.

  54. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    SO true Larry– you must be a true fan! Thanks for your input. When Ponder shows his skills, all these naysayers can find another team–

  55. By Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

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  56. By RichardA1 on Feb 21, 2013 | Reply

    Did they trade harvin yet!

  57. By Immure on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    You’d think a true fan would support and hope for success with every one on the team and not just for 2/3rds of the players at a certain position.

  58. By WRHopkins2013 on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_22641166/vikings-gm-rick-spielman-sees-good-reasons-stockpile

  59. By BlueBird7 on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    Titus

    I believe you want the True Fans to arise, and fake fans to demise.

    shhhhh, somebody might hear you!

  60. By BlueBird7 on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    Titus

    Your comment on Rich Gannon, Ponder, MBT. You should also have Webb, huh.

  61. By sandiamond on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    WR D Hopkins 6 ’1 even/ big frame hugh wingspan

    WR K Allen 6′ 2 even/ same frame

    WR T Alston 5’8 4/ undersized off the vikes board imo

    Combine today

  62. By sandiamond on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    WR Cordarelle Patterson 6’1 7/ smaller arm length and hands mmmm………

  63. By sandiamond on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    WR Justin Hunter 6’4 even/ good size hands/arms

  64. By Spark on Feb 22, 2013 | Reply

    I remember reading all the heated comments from fans on this site when Blair was selected. They thought Spielman was out of his mind. After what Blair accomplished this year, you can’t seem to find a single one of those people who thought it was a waste of a draft pick. I hope Spielman gets more “steals” from the draft.

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