Through 13 weeks of 2022, the Minnesota Vikings rank 28th in field goal percentage and 32nd in extra point conversion percentage. Kicker Greg Joseph produced a perfect Week 13 performance versus the New York Jets last weekend, a refreshing output as the Vikings kicking game until that afternoon was woeful.
Even with Joseph’s perfect day against the Jets, though, Minnesota worked out Nick Sciba this week, according to Aaron Wilson from Pro Football Network.
And not long ago — at the end of October — Sciba worked at Saltwater Markets in South Carolina, a spot he’d worked in high school before attending Wake Forest. Earlier this season, the Pittsburgh Steelers reached out to Sciba when kicker Chris Boswell was hurt, and the rookie specialist signed on the dotted line with Mike Tomlin’s team for about a week and a half.
It is unclear if the Vikings will parlay Sciba’s tryout into a roster spot, practice squad assignment, or nothing at all. But Sciba’s audition marks the first notable non-Joseph kicker development since June. Six months ago, the Vikings employed rookie Gabe Brkic (and Joseph) on the roster but waived the Oklahoma rookie before mandatory minicamp. Brkic signed with the Green Bay Packers days later but failed to make the 53-man roster.
Sciba, also a rookie, was undrafted during the 2022 NFL Draft cycle, prompting the eventual return to Saltwater Markets. Before that, he played collegiately at Wake Forest and was quite marvelous. In four years and 48 games, Sciba hit 80 of 89 field goals (89.9%) and drilled 193 of 193 extra points.
He’s the all-time leading scorer in Wake Forest history, won 1st-Team All-ACC honors in 2021, and remains the second-most accurate kicker in the history of college football. And based on that resume, it almost feels criminal that the man isn’t on an NFL roster.
Sciba played one game for the Steelers on October 30th, hitting two fields (29 yards, 38 yards) and one extra point. But his Pittsburgh tenure was brief, as the Steelers released him on November 8th. Pittsburgh opted for the services of Matthew Wright instead of Sciba, and Wright kicked for the Steelers until this weekend when the incumbent Boswell returned from injury.
Sciba turned 23 in October. He was teammates with Cincinnati Bengals standout safety Jessie Bates III at Wake Forest.
The Vikings take on the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on Sunday.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).