Medlock To Challenge Tynes As KC's Kicker

In the fifth round the Chiefs found themselves looking at their value board. They had hinted special teams would be something they'd look at in this draft and with the nation's top two kickers still on the board, they selected one in UCLA sharpshooter Justin Medlock.

The left-footed kicker was one of the most accurate kickers in the NCAA a year ago. In his four-year career he connected on 79.5% of his field goal attempts. As a Bruin he ranks second all-time in scoring with 357 points, just behind the record of 390 set by former UCLA great John Lee.

The addition of Medlock means the Chiefs will have plenty of competition at kicker in training camp. Last year's kicker, Lawrence Tynes, will be given an opportunity to win the job, but so will Medlock and free agent Aaron Barret.

Tynes struggled last season and his shank of a short field goal attempt in last season's playoff loss to the Colts might have sealed his fate. Medlock isn't a lock to make the team, but generally when kickers get drafted, they make the roster.

Medlock has a strong leg and the Chiefs like his ability to make the routine kicks. He was nails under 40 yards throughout his entire career at UCLA, missing only nine kicks from that distance.

Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards said he likes Medlock's reliability.

"The key to a field goal kicker, and this I've learned, is you want the guy when you get to the 30, it's pretty good money that he's going to make ‘em," said Edwards. "That's what this guy has been able to do all of his career. He's kicked in a lot of pressure games."

That's where Tynes has failed in three years as a Chief. The Chiefs love his powerful leg and leadership, but they need him to be more accurate in crunch time. He's only made two game-winning kicks over the last three seasons.

The Chiefs had their pick of the nation's top two kickers. They ultimately chose Medlock over Colorado's Mason Crosby, who left his kickoffs short at the combine. He was drafted in the sixth round by the Green Bay Packers.

Chiefs President Carl Peterson said Medlock was also more accurate than Crosby.

"Probably the most accurate kicker in this year's draft, and on long kicks too," he said. "I think he was six of nine on long kicks. He kicked off very well at the (scouting) Combine with the NFL ‘K' ball. In his entire career he's been 80 percent. His senior year he made a lot of kicks he had to make to help the Bruins stay close or win."

That's important for the Chiefs as they make the transformation from a high-octane offense to the efficient, ball-control system Edwards wants to run.

"I went down to Gunther Cunningham's office after we did this (drafting Medlock) and told him you officially will play good defense and we'll kick field goals."

PRE-DRAFT EVALUATIONS
Positives - Left footed kicker that is constantly accurate outside of the 50-yards. Gets good lift on kicks and drives the ball inside the 5-yard line from the pro-mark.

Negatives -
Does not get great hang time on kick-offs. Will miss the easy kick from shorter distances on occasions.

Analysis -
A solid college field goal kicker very reliable from long distances. Medlock must improve consistency of his kickoffs to have a real shot at the next level.

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