Remember last year when Nick Folk was a model of consistency for the New England Patriots? Well, yet another roster move had fans fairly shocked last week when the team opted to name rookie Quinn Nordin the starting kicker.
While we’ve seen Cam Newton go, among other transactions, this one perhaps flew under the radar as a sort of shocker.
Is that Nordin is a rookie? Or that he was undrafted? Or that he’s officially kept the Patriots 12-year streak of a UDFA making the 53-man roster? Not quite.
It’s how he got the job.
Quinn Nordin was scouring LinkedIn, but then fate landed him an opportunity to join the Patriots
Nordin was nothing more than a solid kicker, if that, at the University of Michigan. He made just 72.4% of his field goals and was dreadful his senior year, making just two of five in four games.
Even crazier? Nordin was looking for jobs on LinkedIn not long after the NFL Draft and even thought about joining the military.
Fast forward to late August and here we are, seeing a wildly inexperienced rookie whose two worst seasons in college came during his junior and senior years beat out a veteran in Folk who was automatic for the Pats last year.
Folk missed most of training camp with an injury, which likely helped pave the way for Nordin, who the Patriots ended up liking because of his big leg. Folks probably more reliable from a consistency standpoint, but he’s historically not been good from 50 yards and longer for his career (60%), so perhaps the Patriots wanted a new look at the position.
Nonetheless, Folk is available now having been added to the practice squad in case Nordin squanders his opportunity.
And that could still happen. Nordin went just 10-of-15 during the preseason on field goals and extra points combined. But apparently the Pats liked the way he rebounded vs the Giants after his poor performance against the Eagles. That may have been the difference. Plus, Folk simply may not be ready for Week 1.
Nonetheless, Quinn has a prime opportunity to seize the job after utilizing his LinkedIn profile to the fullest just a few months ago.