Former Iowa kicker Marshall Koehn probably isn't going to get drafted. Kickers are rarely selected in the NFL Draft; none were taken last year, two were selected the year before that, and two were selected the year before that. Koehn is ranked as the ninth-best kicker in this class by CBS Sports.
So Koehn showed up to the NFL Draft Combine with a mission: To prove he was the fastest dang kicker the world has ever seen.
Koehn ran a 4.61 40-yard dash, the fastest by any kicker or punter as far back as NFL.com's records go. He was faster than every quarterback except for one, almost every linebacker, 10 wide receivers, and five running backs. As we have always known, Iowa football gets by on speed and speed alone.
Adidas advertises that they'll give out $10,000 to the fastest player in each position group at the Combine. They probably assumed they'd avoid having to give a kicker cash when they lumped specialists in with tight ends and offensive linemen. But Koehn blasted past every tight end, with only South Carolina TE Jerell Adams coming within a tenth of a second of him. Koehn will get his $10,000.
Koehn's 40-yard dash was as good as that of T.J. Yeldon, drafted as a running back in the second round last year. When Shonn Greene, Iowa's last RB in the NFL, was drafted, he ran a 4.65 40.
Koehn had played wide receiver in high school, and at least one NFL Draft scout thinks Koehn might have been playing the wrong position:
#Iowa kicker Marshall Koehn tested like a WR. 6'1", 197 lbs, 32 1/4" arms, 9 1/2" hands and a 4.6 40— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 26, 2016
Let's be clear. There's no need for kickers to do any of the Combine drills. Most teams aren't even looking to draft kickers, and those that do will learn what they need to know from watching players go through various kicking drills. Although it's nice to have a kicker who is capable of making tackles on kickoffs, the goal is to never have your kicker need to make a tackle. Drafting a kicker for his speed would be like drafting a QB for his tackling ability: You hope it never comes into play.
However, from time to time, kickers do like to participate. Why? I like to imagine it's just for the pride of showing that kickers are people too. In 2009, USC kicker (and one-time USC fullback/safety) David Buehler showed up to the Combine looking to blow everybody's minds, and ran a 4.62 40 along with 25 reps on the bench press. Although his USC team had a slew of NFL-caliber linebackers, he showed the world he was stronger than Rey Maualuga and faster than Clay Matthews.
This year, it was Koehn's turn. Sadly, he declined to do the rest of the Combine's drills, so Buehler still holds the title of American Kicker Warrior. But Koehn did leave every chump who's said kickers aren't athletes in the dust.
I'm not saying a team should draft Marshall Koehn. Although he showed his leg by drilling a 57-yard game-winner last year, he also missed six extra points, converting PAT's at a lower rate from 19 yards than almost every NFL kicker from 33 yards. Suggesting a team should draft Marshall Koehn would make me a bad NFL Draft analyst.
HOWEVER. If a team were to bring in Marshall Koehn to training camp and then test him out as a kickoff/deep field goal specialist? That might be a good idea. And if that same team also used Koehn on occasional trick plays, showing off his historically brilliant speed? Hey, I wouldn't be opposed to that. And if maybe that team was in the Super Bowl and they lined up for a 59-yard field goal with the clock expiring and OH WAIT the holder is actually the backup QB AND THE FAST KICKER GUY IS RUNNING A WHEEL ROUTE AND THEY'RE GONNA WIN THE SUPER BOWL?!?!?!?!?!?
Basically, what I'm saying is this: NFL teams, if you sign Marshall Koehn, you will win the Super Bowl.
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NFL Combine: The general manager and coach edition
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