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Cameron Dicker UDFA profile

Today is Cameron Dicker's birthday. He turns 22 years old. If he's having a party, I hope at least one of his Rams teammates shows up, just so Kevin Costner won't give him the third degree.

Background

Was a true senior at Texas. Studied marketing. 3 time academic 1st team All Conference.

6'1'' tall, 220 pounds, 30'' arms, 9'' hands. Was listed at about 205 pounds until his senior year, when he was listed at 216 pounds.

Born in Hong Kong. Dad was in supply chain management. Family also lived in Shanghai and Taiwan. Played soccer as a youth, didn't watch football or play football until he was in junior high in the US.

Was kicker for Texas for 4 seasons. Had 8 punt attempts as junior, then pulled double duty as the K and P as a senior in 2021.

46.8 punt ave in 2021, 43.6 average in 2020. 21 out of 47 punts were fair caught in 2021. 3 touchbacks and 11 punts inside the 20.

On kickoffs, had 62.5% touchback percentage in 2021. Career 67.6% touchback rate. Had zero KO go out of bounds last 2 seasons, but had 5 go out of bounds in first two seasons, including 4 in 2018.

Career long FG of 57 yards. Career 73.4% FG conversion. 50% on 50+ yard FGs in career (4 out of 8).

Lance Zierlein 5.88 draft grade, listed as a kicker, 6th to 7th round projection. Accurate directional punts, capable tackler. Below NFL standard hang time, needs quicker touch-to-toe time. Only 1 season with at least 80% FG conversion rate. Average rise when ball comes off foot.

Strengths

Enough leg strength to get a look either as a kicker or a punter and to handle kickoffs. His 57 yard FG was indoors, but it looked like it might have cleared the bar from about 60 yards. Enough range to made FGs beyond 50 yards.

Punting from backed up field position, he had a 53 yard punt that was fair caught.

Average age for a draft prospect.

Traditional punt footwork and approach. Doesn't take out of the ordinary extra space or extra steps to get punt off. Capable of executing Aussie style punt, but is not an Aussie style only punter.

Had good fair catch rate punting in 2021 of 44.7%

Good career touchback rate on kickoffs.

Useful in preseason games, because you could have him handle multiple roles and not have to use your regular K and P.

Weaknesses

Average leg strength for NFL level. Attempted another 57 yarder that was a wobbly knuckler and missed it. Below average ball control on FGs.

Mediocre accuracy. His FG rate was only good in 2021, because he attempted so few kicks from at least 40 yards. Was only 60% on FGs from 40 to 49 yards over last 2 seasons. Has a missed PAT on his stats every season of career.

FGs have lower flight trajectory and don't get up into the air quickly. Even in a short chip shot FG, does not get the ball up fast.

Large number of his touchbacks would have been returned in the NFL. They went to the front or the middle of the end zone, not a kicker who blasts it out the back of the EZ and gives the returner no chance. Touchback rate went down in 2021 compared with 2020.

Wasn't holder for FGs, since he was the kicker.

Punted from spread formation. Takes his time getting punt off. Nearly had a punt blocked. Ball doesn't jump off of his foot.

When he tries to speed up the operation or has mild pressure, his gross punt yardage tends to decline substantially. One punt bounced 32 yards from the LOS.

Doesn't display great distance control or ball control. Had to rely on good plays from his coverage unit to down the ball inside the 10, otherwise his touchback rate could have been higher.

Punting from his own end zone, doesn't have one step approach, he still uses 3 steps, just sometimes shortens one of the steps.

Punt stat slightly inflated by friendly roll of 20 yards.

Rams Outlook

Cameron Dicker is a versatile specialist, but right now he's a jack of all trades, master of none prospect. Almost, but not quite good enough to look the part of an NFL kicker. Almost, but not really good enough to serve as legitimate competition to be an NFL punter. Pretty good, but not great at kickoffs to get a job as a KO specialist.

Dicker might be a good player to carry on the PS just as insurance in case your K or P got hurt. I'm not sure he's ready to win a starting job, because he could use more seasoning and refinement. He only within the last year or so added weight to his body, so maybe if he got a bit stronger and continued to work on his technique, in another year or two he could develop into a starting NFL K or P.

I don't have a high level of confidence in Riley Dixon. The last 2 seasons, Dixon was only 23rd and 25th in net punting average. He had an 18.75% touchback rate, considerably worse than Hekker's 10.53% touchback rate. If that trend holds, Dixon likely will be a below average punter this year. Dicker might have an outside chance of beating him out if it is an open competition, but it would be a surprise, since Dicker is inexperienced as a punter, while Dixon is an NFL veteran.

FG holding is also a key consideration and it could be risky to use Dicker in that role, since he doesn't have experience in that area.

Dicker is an okay UDFA to bring in, but he wouldn't have been my first choice. In the compensatory part of the 7th round, the Bears drafted Trenton Gill from NCST and I was hoping that he'd be available after the draft. Ryan Stonehouse has a strong leg and he was signed by the Titans (who have a 36 year old punter). The only other P on Chicago's roster is a journeyman PS type, so Gill has a shot at winning that job.

The Bucs drafted Jake Camarda in the 4th round and presumably will dump Bradley Pinion at some point. Pinion had a lower net average than Dixon last season.

The Ravens drafted Jordan Stout, which likely means the end of the road for soon to be 40 year old Sam Koch. If Koch doesn't retire and still wants to play, maybe the Rams could give him a look.