The New England Patriots typically sign a slew of undrafted free agents shortly after the NFL Draft (with at least one making their roster to begin the season), but they didn’t do that this year.
Instead, they waited until the following week to ink their first, non-drafted player, and it’s Quinn Nordin, a kicker from Michigan.
The 22-year-old confirmed the signing on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
Signing kickers don’t usually generate a ton of excitement, and the inking of Nordin is no exception. However, his skill set and presence might create an intriguing training camp battle.
Quinn Nordin Scouting Report
If challenged to sum up Nordin’s collegiate scouting report with one incomplete sentence, it would be: highly recruited kicking prospect with a powerful right leg but struggles with accuracy. That seems to be the consensus on Nordin, who The Athletic’s Dane Brugler ranked as the sixth-best kicking prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein likes Nordin’s leg strength but expressed concern with his accuracy issues. Zierlein wrote:
“Based on leg strength alone, Nordin could get a look in an NFL camp, but the issues with accuracy and consistency that have dogged him for all four seasons could be hard for teams to ignore.”
Nordin registered a 72.4% success rate on field goals, per NFL.com. He was pretty unreliable on the road, making just 57.1% of his attempts away from Ann Arbor. While he has a strong leg, he made just two of his seven attempts on field goals from 50 yards or more.
While some may believe he has a future handling kickoff duties, that’s something he never did at Michigan.
3-Man Battle at Starting Kicker
Alex Barth of 98.5 The Sports Hub believes Folk is the “heavy favorite” to be the team’s No. 1 kicker, but Aguayo and Nordin could be battling for a spot on the practice squad.
Nordin is now the third kicker on the Patriots roster. The team re-signed Nick Folk to a one-year deal in March after a career year in 2020. They also have former second-round pick Roberto Aguayo, who spent the end of last season on the practice squad. While Folk is the heavy favorite to win the job, Nordin and Aguayo could represent potential long-term options if they can be stashed on the practice squad.
If Nordin can correct some of his issues with mechanics and address some potential missteps in his mental approach, he might be able to tap into what some talent evaluators saw in him coming out of high school.
As is the case with all undrafted free-agent signings, this is a low-risk and potentially high-reward move for the Patriots. If Nordin lights it up, he’ll join a long list of undrafted free agents who have made a fine NFL career out of their post-draft opportunity.
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