Projecting kickers for the next level seems to be one of the hardest positions to evaluate. It is only because the kicker position is considered an afterthought that teams don’t often pressure themselves into drafting them before the last two or three rounds, as when they do take those “sure things” at kicker it seems to be that maybe you’ll find the next Roberto Aguayo (second round pick in 2016) than the next Adam Vinatieri.
The Los Angeles Rams are among the teams that haven’t prioritized kicker lately, first parting with Greg Zuerlein, then going through a competition of kickers who didn’t belong in the league, until falling backwards into Matt Gay in 2020. The team has now decided to part with Gay and they’re back in the market—for a new kicker, a new punter, a new longsnapper, and a new returner.
The whole squad.
Whether the Rams will draft or sign a kicker after the draft is yet to be determined, but it seems they’ll be one of the few franchises in the league going into the draft with an open slot. Who gets drafted is almost as hard of a question as “Who will pan out?” at the next level, but we can keep our eyes on a few.
Harrison Mevis, Missouri
2022: 22-of-28, 33-of-33
The best kickers have weird personalities. Mevis seems to qualify.
Harrison Mevis is my new non favorite Gator pic.twitter.com/8XyFxeyOwM— Charlie Parker (@cmparker999) October 2, 2022
His older brother Andrew Mevis kicked at Iowa State and signed with the Jags as a UDFA last year, but hasn’t made an NFL team yet. Harrison seems to have more potential and could be the first kicker selected, if any are drafted in 2023.
ProFootballNetwork had this to say, ranking him as their top kicker in the draft:
He holds high school records, Missouri freshman records, and in his third season with the Tigers, has the most 50+ yard conversions in school history.
With a booming leg and excellent accuracy, the “Thiccer Kicker” — in reference to his stout 5’11”, 235 pounds frame — has the goods to get the job done at the NFL level.
Although he’s had his struggles from shorter distance this year, no kicker in this class has more 50+ completions. And no one can match his 56-yard long, which he’s accomplished in two consecutive seasons.
In his career, Mevis has made 62-of-73 attempts and all 102 extra points.
Jake Moody, Michigan
2022: 29-of-35 FG, 60-of-60 XP
Moody is another candidate to be the first kicker selected and he made a 63-yarder at the Michigan pro day recently.
Michigan's Jake Moody: Shrine Bowl MVP— PFF College (@PFF_College) February 3, 2023
FG Makes From:
— 51 Yards
— 51 Yards
— 35 Yards
— 35 Yards pic.twitter.com/fx6oYZFK2I
Moody led the nation with 29 made field goals last season and he went 23-of-25 in 2021. That’s 52-of-60 on field goals and 116-of-116 on extra points over the last two seasons, plus he can go the distance.
Christopher Dunn, NC State
2022: 28-of-29 FG, 30-of-30 XP
Dunn was second to Moody in made field goals and winner of the award for best kicker in the nation last season.
.@PackFootball has the best kicker in the nation and the winner of the Lou Groza Award, Christopher Dunn!! Check out the reaction in the upper left from holder Shane McDonough and long snapper Joe Shimko! pic.twitter.com/Zocbtyql1M— Jeff Gravley (@JGravleySPORTS) December 9, 2022
Dunn went 28-of-29 on field goal attempts and though he struggled with accuracy in 2020-2021, he did go 44-of-50 as a freshman and sophomore. He was a perfect 200-of-200 on those little college extra points.
Andre Szmyt, Syracuse
2022: 20-of-26 on FG, 40-of-40 on XP
Szmyt was PFN’s second-ranked kicker:
While earning an honorable mention in our preseason list of kickers in the 2023 NFL Draft, Syracuse’s Andre Szmyt has elevated his game to the point where he should be considered one of the best in the nation. After a difficult 2021 season, the fifth-year kicker is in the running for the Lou Groza Award (which he won as a freshman) and finds himself on the Shrine Bowl 1000 Watchlist.
Andre Szmyt has quite a crowd watching him kick at the moment. pic.twitter.com/5Buxud1jMf— emily leiker (@emleiker) March 20, 2023
He had a bad 2021 season but could be rebounding at the right time.
Ethan Mooney, North Texas
2022: 18-of-21 on FG, 54-of-55 on XP
The second-ranked kicker on DraftTek for some reason, why not? Mooney went 175-of-177 on XP in his career, 29-of-34 on FG in the last two seasons.
Mooney being the all time leader in points fits the saying “Money Mooney”— NTSN (@TheUNT6) November 26, 2022
This one’s for you, 3k.