The Indianapolis Colts addressed multiple areas during the NFL Draft, but waited until after the seventh round to go after a kicker.
Georgia Bulldogs kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was looked upon as one of the best kickers in the draft, but nobody decided to take a chance on him.
Shortly after the draft concluded the Colts decided to give the undrafted rookie a shot and signed Blankenship.
One of the biggest issues for the Colts last season was at the kicker spot, but will Blankenship be their solution?
The #Colts are signing Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, source said. A new home for Hot Rod.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 25, 2020
Who is Rodrigo Blankenship?
He has spent each of the last four seasons as the kicker for Georgia.
In 2019 Blankenship earned the Lou Groza Award for the nation’s top place kicker.
His other accolades include First-Team All-American and a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy which is awarded to the best college football player that began his career as a walk-on.
He leaves Georgia as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 440 points over his four seasons.
Those 440 points are good enough for second all-time in SEC history.
Blankenship went a perfect 200-for-200 on extra-point attempts during his college career.
He went 80-for-97 on field-goal attempts one of those kicks being a 55-yarder that helped his team advance to the National Championship Game.
What About Chase McLaughlin?
The Colts brought in kicker Chase McLaughlin after veteran Adam Vinatieri struggled to find consistency.
Before landing in Indy, McLaughlin played for the Los Angeles Chargers and San Francisco 49ers, but was waived by both teams after a short period of time in 2019.
McLaughlin connected on 5-of-6 field goals and went 11-for-11 on extra-point attempts during his four games with the Colts.
The Colts gave McLaughlin a one-year extension after a brief stint with the organization.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Colts do with both kickers in training camp because it’s unlikely that the organization will carry two kickers.
Rodrigo Blankenship not being the first kicker taken is probably the surprise of the draft so far, no joke #NFLDraft
— Geoff Magliocchetti (@GeoffJMags) April 25, 2020
Who Earns the Kicker Role in 2020?
The Colts are likely going to have a kicker competition in training camp this season.
McLaughlin played well last season and the organization should give him a chance to prove he deserves the job.
This move is likely just the Colts adding some depth in case McLaughlin does struggle to start the season.
Blankenship had an incredible college career and could end up being the replacement for Vinatieri.
However, some players struggle to transition from college football to the professional level.
Roberto Aguayo had a fantastic college career where he made every extra-point attempt and 88.5% of his field goals during his career.
Then he heavily struggled during his rookie season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was unable to bounce back in the NFL.
There is no such thing as a sure thing in the NFL and the Colts should know that after how badly future Hall of Famer Vinatieri struggled last season.
Both McLaughlin and Blankenship should have a fair chance to earn the job during the preseason.
The better kicker deserves the job and that should be an interesting storyline to watch during training camp.