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Updated: April 20th, 2010 7:23pm
Vikings predraft roster analysis, Day 8: Specialists

Vikings predraft roster analysis, Day 8: Specialists

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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Over the past two weeks, Tom Pelissero has broken down the Minnesota Vikings' roster position by position, based on conversations with scouts around the NFL. To read the full series, use the links below.


QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST

DAY 8
Specialists.

ON THE ROSTER
Kickers:
Rhys Lloyd, Ryan Longwell.
Punter: Chris Kluwe.
Long snapper: Cullen Loeffler.

BREAKDOWN
Longwell is coming off his most accurate season (26-for-28 on field goals, 92.9 percent), but he also is 35 and due $2 million in salary and bonuses in this, the final year of his five-year contract. The Vikings brought in Lloyd strictly to handle kickoffs -- he has 51 touchbacks over the past two seasons with Carolina, compared to 11 for Longwell -- and didn't give him a bonus. Kluwe ranked 15th last season in gross (43.9) and 18th in net (37.8) among punters with at least 37 attempts. Loeffler has been steady and never has missed a game in six seasons.

DRAFT OUTLOOK
Even with Longwell in a contract year, it's tough to imagine the Vikings drafting a kicker. Likewise, Kluwe is at least average and his contract, which runs through 2013, is due to pay him only $1.025 million this season.

MEL KIPER'S TOP FIVE
Kickers
Brett Swenson, Michigan State (5-8, 185)
Hunter Lawrence, Texas (6-0, 187)
Aaron Pelfrey, Ohio State (6-2, 199)
Leigh Tiffin, Alabama (6-2, 212)
Alex Steigerwald, Toledo (5-11, 181)

Punters
Zoltan Mesko, Michigan (6-5, 231)
Mike Brandtner, Iowa State (6-0, 200)
Trevor Ward, Southern Utah (6-5, 200)
Matt Dodge, East Carolina (6-2, 220)
Scott Ravanesi, Southern Illinois (6-1, 195)

UP NEXT
Offensive line.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
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