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Factoid

Rookie kickers

Three 6th-round picks used on kickers

Three kickers went in the sixth round of the draft. When a team uses a selection on that position, it’s with the expectation that he’ll probably win the job.

I would think Will Reichard (picture) will be kicking for the Vikings. He’s unusually experienced for a rookie, having attempted 100 field goals at Alabama. He connected on 80 of his last 93 there, making me think he’ll be fine. He’s college football’s all-time leading scorer, and he’s attempted a lot of pressue kicks in big games.

Joshua Karty, however, is the one that interests me more for fantasy purposes, with Sean McVay tending to put together kicker-friendly offenses. He’s been there for seven years, and three of those teams ranked in the top 3 in kicker. The Rams should have done it again last year but missed a league-high 38 points of kicks. If Karty can make the kicks (and he was just fine at Stanford), I think he’ll be a top-5 kicker.

Cam Little is the other option, and he looks like more of a camp-battle guy, competing against Riley Patterson.

Draft history indicates that when a kicker is selected in the last three rounds of the draft, he’s got about a 50-50 chance of sticking around for a while. In the 32-team era, 34 have been selected in rounds 5-7, and 18 have kicked more than half the season in their first year. That includes three notable kickers who ended up with new teams before October – Harrison Butker, Jake Elliott and Daniel Carlson.

Of these 34 kickers, 11 scored 110-plus points in their first season – about 1 in 3 (and I’ve got those guys flagged with black dots).

As group, these kickers made 81 percent of their field goal attempts in their first season. There’s a self-selection bias of sorts in that number, with the guys who were missing kicks tending to be replaced.

KICKERS IN LAST THREE ROUNDS OF DRAFT
YearPlayerRdSchoolGXP-XPAFG-FGAPts
2002Hayden Epstein, Jac.7Michigan613-135-928
2003• Josh Brown, Sea.7Nebraska1648-4822-30114
2004Josh Scobee, Jac.5Louisiana Tech1621-2124-3193
2004David Kimball, Ind.7Penn State00-00-00
2005Dave Rayner, Ind.6Michigan State140-00-10
2005Paul Ernster, Den.7Northern Arizona10-00-00
2006Kurt Smith, S.D.6Virginia00-00-00
2007• Mason Crosby, G.B.6Colorado1648-4831-39141
2007• Nick Folk, Dal.6Arizona1653-5326-31131
2007Justin Medlock, K.C.5UCLA10-01-23
2008Taylor Mehlhaff, N.O.6Wisconsin59-103-418
2008Brandon Coutu, Sea.7Georgia00-00-00
2009Ryan Succop, K.C.7South Carolina1629-2925-29104
2009David Buehler, Dal.5Southern Cal160-00-00
2012• Blair Walsh, Min.6Georgia1636-3635-38141
2012Greg Zuerlein, St.L.6Missouri Western1626-2623-3195
2012John Potter, Buf.7Western Michigan60-00-00
2012Randy Bullock, Hou.5Texas A&M00-00-00
2013• Caleb Sturgis, Mia.5Florida1633-3326-34111
2013Dustin Hopkins, Buf.6Florida State00-00-00
2014Nate Freese, Det.7Boston College36-63-715
2014Zach Hocker, Was.7Arkansas00-00-00
2017• Harrison Butker, Car. (K.C.)7Georgia Tech1328-2838-42142
2017• Jake Elliott, Cin. (Phi.)5Memphis1539-4226-31117
2017Zane Gonzalez, Cle.7Arizona State1625-2615-2070
2018Jason Sanders, Mia.7New Mexico1635-3618-2089
2018Daniel Carlson, Min. (Mn.-Oak.)5Auburn1224-2417-2175
2019• Matt Gay, T.B.5Utah1643-4827-35124
2019Austin Seibert, Cle.5Oklahoma1630-3525-29105
2020• Tyler Bass, Buf.6Georgia Southern1657-5928-34141
2020Sam Sloman, LAR (Rams-Ten.)7Miami (Ohio)823-2610-1353
2020Justin Rohrwasser, N.E.5Marshall00-00-00
2021• Evan McPherson, Cin.5Florida1646-4828-33130
2023• Anders Carlson, G.B.6Auburn1734-3927-33115
2024Cam Little, Jac.6Arkansas????
2024Joshua Karty, LAR6Stanford????
2024Will Reichard, Min.6Alabama????

—Ian Allan

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