Over the course of this off-season, we've speculated as to whether or not the Minnesota Vikings have designs on replacing incumbent punter Chris Kluwe. Kluwe has the highest gross punting average in team history (44.4 yards/punt), but was 24th in the NFL in gross average in 2012 and 18th in net average.
The Vikings showed last year that they're not afraid to take a chance to improve their special teams, having drafted Blair Walsh last year to replace steady incumbent Ryan Longwell. Apparently the Vikings might have more than just a passing interest in doing the same at the punting position. According to ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert, the Vikings worked out the guy that many consider to be the best available punter in this year's draft.
Late last week, there were indications that the Vikings have worked out one of the highest-rated punters available in the draft. On his verified Twitter account, LSU punter Brad Wing re-tweeted a follower's wish of good luck Thursday in a workout with the Vikings. Later Thursday, Wing tweeted: "Had a good workout today! #blessed."
Wing is the rare punter that actually declared early for the draft. . .the first to do so since Chris Gardocki back in 1991. However, he's not without his issues, having been suspended for LSU's Chick-Fil-A Bowl tilt with Clemson for a violation of team rules, believed to be a failed drug test. There were rumors that he was going to declare early prior to that, but there's little doubt that the suspension served as his final push out the door in Baton Rouge.
Wing and Oklahoma's Quinn Sharp are considered the best punters in this year's draft. We don't know for sure yet when either one of them will be drafted, though they'll both likely hear their names called on draft weekend. If the Vikings are bringing punters in for workouts, the discussion that they might be looking for an upgrade at the position will probably become a whole lot more serious.