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2020 NFL Draft: Finding the future at kicker

The soon-to-be 35-year-old Stephen Hauschka was solid, but replaceable in 2019

Signed by the Buffalo Bills in 2017, kicker Stephen Hauschka immediately turned in a solid season, with a field goal percentage of 87.9 and even set the team record for most 50-yard field goals made in a season with seven. Taken as a whole, however, the veteran’s past two seasons have been more middle of the road, with a field goal percentage of 78.6 for both seasons and only one successful try over 50 yards in 2019.

It’s fair to question if Hauschka is even trusted by the coaching staff at this point. As such, with the team’s plethora of lower-round picks in the 2020 draft, the current regime may choose to pursue a younger player who can come in and compete with the former Seahawk, or at the very least hope to stash and develop on the practice squad. Below are a few options to choose from.

Tier I

Rodrigo Blankenship (Georgia)

If feels like Georgia’s bespectacled kicker has been playing for the Bulldogs forever, but he finally leaves the team as one of the more clutch kickers in recent memory. He carries an 82.5 percent success rate on field goals and made a 55-yarder in the Rose Bowl. He did record some notable misses, against South Carolina in 2019 and Alabama in 2018, but more so than others on this list, Blankenship stands a good chance of hearing his name called in the draft.

Tier II

Jet Toner (Stanford)
Dominik Eberle (Utah State)

With an 82 percent field goal success rate, Toner had a chance to improve on that average during the 2019 season. Unfortunately, he was lost for the year during Week 8 against UCLA when he suffered an injury to his kicking leg. Assuming that he returns fully healthy though, he will be an intriguing option for teams given his consistent play and his above-average size (6’4”). If you’re looking for consistency, Eberle is your man. The Utah State Aggie has an 87.5 percent success rate on field goals and has never missed an extra point, despite a short miss in the Shrine game. However, the senior’s career long is only 48 yards.