Dec 15, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley (5) attempts to kick a field goal from the hold of Luke McCown during the fourth quarter against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Is Derek Dimke The Answer At Kicker?

We’re still at the ‘way too early’ point of the offseason, but, one of the main concerns the Saints will have for 2014 is the kicker position.

So where do the Saints go for a kicker? Is it the draft? Is it free agency? Or, do the Saints already have their answer?

Let’s start with some potentials for the NFL draft. As per CBSSports, here’s several of the top kicker prospects for the 2014 draft.

Rank Player Pos. Pos. Rank School Class Ht. Wt. Proj. Round
183 Chris Boswell K 1 Rice rSr 6-2 183 5-6
196 Anthony Fera K 2 Texas rSr 6-1 218 6
277 Cairo Santos K 3 Tulane Sr 5-8 165 7-FA
337 Jeff Budzien K 4 Northwestern rSr 5-11 175 7-FA

While it may not be the ideal thought to use a draft pick on a kicker, there’s only one or two players that would be considered to be worth drafting in the late rounds. So, the Saints would have to believe they could bring in a kicker as one of their undrafted rookie free agents.

We can’t exactly say that free agency will be the best friend for the Saints, as the list is composed of many seasoned veterans, and with the unfriendly cap situation, there’s no guarantee the Saints would be able to afford a kicker. Besides, would you honestly want to go with a veteran kicker we’d only be able to use for a couple of seasons?

The other question is, who’s actually available as of right now? See below.

  • David Akers (39)
  • Josh Brown (34)
  • Dan Carpenter (28)
  • Billy Cundiff (33)
  • Jay Feely (37)
  • Steven Hauschka (28)
  • Nick Folk (29)
  • Graham Gano (26)
  • Rian Lindell (37)
  • Adam Vinatieri (41)
  • Lawrence Tynes (35)

Arguably, the most appealing name on this list, in my opinion, would be Steven Hauschka. However, there’s not much to suggest the Seahawks will simply let him walk, or that the Saints could afford him in the first place.

For those who may not know, the Saints do have a place kicker on their roster. That kicker is 23-year old undrafted rookie free agent, Derek Dimke, who originally started with the Detroit Lions in 2012. The Saints brought Dimke in for a tryout when Garrett Hartley struggled, but the team would opt for Shayne Graham.

The road has been short, but quite eventful for Derek Dimke. In less than two seasons, Dimke’s bounced from the Detroit Lions, the New York Jets, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In two of those situations, he was battling for the number one spot. He would be without work after August 31st of this season, failing to make final cuts with the Bucs. Dimke made 39 of 46 field goals (.848) during his time with the University of Illinois Fighting Illini.

“It’s fun, and it keeps me busy. And, if I get my chance, you can’t beat going out and kicking a game-winner in front of 70,000 people,” Dimke said. “I’ll keep doing this for as long as I can. I’ll keep going after it for as long as I’ve got a shot at it.” -Derek Dimke

Dimke will officially report to duty in March for the black and gold, and may be one of those to watch. However, the upside potential is there.

What do you think the Saints should do for the kicker position? Let us know!

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Tags: 2014 New Orleans Saints Derek Dimke Garrett Hartley New Orleans Saints Position Battles Shayne Garahm

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