Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship approaching rookie NFL history
Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenship is approaching rarefied air for a rookie in 2020.
We thought, entering training camp, that Rodrigo Blankenship would be an interesting UDFA acquisition. While he wouldn’t seamlessly replace famed Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, he’d at least be an intriguing placeholder with the potential to grow into the role.
Or, you know, he could simply take over the gig for the foreseeable future, reaching for the stars among the top point-getters in NFL history. That works, too.
Through six games, Blankenship has shrugged off his early skittishness to be as dependable as a kicker can get — often only attempting mid-range shots rather than monster boots, but hey, you can’t argue with success.
In fact, he’s got the fourth-most points through six career games ever, as well as the fifth-most made field goals.
Not bad for a kid who spent the night prior to roster finalization putting Legos together with his girlfriend, eh?
Blankenship entered the league as a collegiate legend, with the persona and look to match his on-field effectiveness as a Georgia Bulldog. Entering the 2020 draft, many expected a kicker-needy team to take a late-round flyer on him.
Instead, Bill Belichick dropped a mid-rounder on a kicker from Marshall who immediately got incinerated by the media (rightfully so!) for sporting Nazi-ish tattoos, while Blankenship ended up very available. Much like when Vinatieri jumped ship in New England in the first place, Belichick’s loss is very much our gain.
Though Blankenship hasn’t been presented with an intense pressure kick or a significant distance challenge yet, the numbers do not lie: 16-of-18 with repeated highs in the mid-40s.
We should’ve seen this coming, though. After all, road games in 2020 are nothing like the harsh SEC environments Blankenship kicked in on a regular basis, not to mention his SEC Championship appearances at packed NFL stadiums.
So far, his career has begun like very few others. And he was just … sitting there for us. Not bad.