2017 Positional Preview: Kicker/Punter

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 20: Adam Vinatieri /

After years of watching Adam Vinatieri nail clutch kicks for the rival Patriots, Colts fans have enjoyed having the greatest kicker of all-time on their side.

Adam Vinatieri made his name as one of the NFL’s most clutch kickers during his ten years with the Patriots, but he has now spent a majority of his career in Indianapolis.

Vinatieri joined the Colts in 2006 at age 34 and he’s still going strong heading into his 22nd NFL season at the age of 44.

Vinatieri’s performance has not fallen off at all in his advanced age as he had the best year of his career in 2014. His field goal percentage has not fallen below 87% over the past four years, and he still has great range making 18 of 23 attempts from 50+ yards over that span.

With the NFL’s new extra point rules, kickers have become more important than ever, and the Colts have a great one in Adam Vinatieri.

The Colts also had one of the league’s best punters in Pat McAfee before he retired after last season at the age of 30.

This left Indianapolis in a tough spot at the punter position. They signed former Vikings punter Jeff Locke this offseason, but he had the league’s second-worst yards per punt average last season.

The Colts signed rookie Rigoberto Sanchez to give Locke some competition during camp. Sanchez had a higher yards per punt average at Hawaii over each of the last two seasons than Locke did with the Vikings, and Sanchez made 13 out of 13 field goals in 2016.

I think Sanchez might have the edge over Locke in this position battle because he can also provide value as Indianapolis’ backup kicker.

McAfee’s loss is a big one for the Colts’ special teams unit, but they still have an outstanding kicker and may find a solid punter for the future in Sanchez.

In case you missed it, here are our other positional previews:

Wide Receiver

Tight End

Offensive Tackle

Offensive Guard

Edge Defender

Defensive Tackle