A Kicker’s Chance
When there is talk about the NFL draft, it is usually about value of the player and value of the pick. Here is a different, interesting situation I would like to throw your way. Suppose you have a kicker who is automatic from 40-49, from 50-55 is 75%, and makes 60-65 yarders quite often. His record long is 67 yards (NFL record is 63). To go along with his field goal accuracy, he also is a touchback making machine. Is this player’s value worthy of a number 1 pick? Let’s keep in mind that basically all you had to do was get to your opponent’s 43 yard line to score.
While I believe this player is worthy of a number 1 pick, many people who I have asked this question disagrees. Let’s keep in mind that Football is a game of field position, and with this player, field position will almost always be on your side. Imagine the advantage this team would have. Just crossing mid-field gives you a good chance of scoring. The kicker won’t contribute as much as an offensive or defensive player, but I think a player with this kind of impact on the game is just too good to pass up.
In the 2000 draft the Oakland Raiders took Sebastian Janikowski with the 17th pick in the first round. Coming into the draft he was known for having a big leg, and the Raiders didn’t pass on the opportunity to rule the field position game. Janikowski has turned into somewhat of a disappointment considering how high he was taken, though. His power is still evident but his accuracy, not so much.
I think it is an interesting question and look forward to what everyone thinks.