Safety, cornerback, defensive end, tight end, wide receiver. We’ve heard about all of these positions being a need for the Dallas Cowboys as we head to the 2020 NFL Draft. But what about kicker? Dallas went through most of the season with an inconsistent Brett Maher as a starter, even though he missed seven field goals in the 13 games he played.
Enter Kai Forbath, who was surprisingly consistent, nailing 11 out of 11 field goal attempts. In his career, Forbath has made 131 out of 151 attempts (87%). Forbath, a 32-year-old veteran, will become a free agent in March. Where does he stand in the Cowboys’ future?
While it’s difficult to know, it’s clear that he’s a lock to make the team’s roster in September. The Cowboys are likely to explore other options via free agency or even the NFL Draft.
Of course, there’s a big argument against kickers in the NFL lately. Analytics suggest kicking a field goal is rarely the right call and teams are expected to go for it on fourth down way more often than they did previously. After the Baltimore Ravens took the league by storm with their analytics-based philosophy, other NFL teams will likely follow. It is, after all, a copycat league.
But there are some pretty interesting prospects at the kicking position. Whether it’s through a late-round pick or through undrafted free agency, taking a look at the top prospects at the position should be in the Cowboys’ to-do list. How in the world do you evaluate college kickers? I really don’t know, but here are three of the top prospects you need to know heading to the Draft.
Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia: This is one of those guys we joke about how he’s been playing in the NCAA forever. Since 2016, he went 80 for 97 (82.5%) and never missed a single extra point after 200 attempts. Blankenship won 2019’s Lou Groza Award for the nation’s best placekicker.
Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern: Bass’ stock rose after a very productive week in Mobile, Alabama. His Senior Bowl performance turned heads. His best season came in 2018 when he made 19 of 21 field goals, including a 50-yarder.
Dominik Eberle, Utah State: Eberle was an honorable mention on Pro Football Focus’ All-American team and won the Lou Groza Award in 2017. He kicked 167 extra points and made all of them. Eberle became the sixth player in NCAA history to kick three 50-yard plus field goals in a single game.