Draft Central | 2022

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A Look At Kicker Options Heading Into The Draft

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FRISCO, Texas – April is officially here, and the entire NFL is closing in on a list of their potential selections when Thursday the 28th finally arrives. For the Dallas Cowboys, there are plenty of needs on the table. Offensive line and wide receiver are both at the top of the list, with linebackers and defensive line not too far behind.

However, with under a month until the picks are made, there is one position group on the roster that sits completely unaddressed this offseason:

Kicker.

Greg Zuerlein was released in March after his second season with the Cowboys and his 10th season working with Cowboys special teams coordinator John Fassel. The veteran connected on 63-of-73 attempts over the last two seasons and missed a total of nine extra points over that span.

Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones told reporters last month that the club will look to address kicker after parting ways with Zuerlein. The question now becomes, where does Zuerlein's replacement come from?

Dallas did preface the move with the signing of former SMU and University of Texas kicker Chris Naggar to the Reserve/Future list in February. Though Naggar remains on the roster, he only has one career field goal make in his NFL career and doesn't necessarily provide any confidence to the kicking situation in 2022.

The Cowboys could look to free agency to sign a veteran before training camp. The next option, and probably the most popular, is finding talent in the upcoming NFL draft class.

With the recent success of rookie Evan McPherson in Cincinnati, Harrison Butker in Kansas City, and Super Bowl winner Matt Gay in Los Angeles, kickers taken in the last five drafts have had instant success in the league.

Luckily for the Cowboys, there is an impressive wave of talent in this year's class to choose from.

Cade York from LSU headlines the list after gaining a reputation of one of the more clutch kickers in college football last season. The junior connected on 15-of-18 attempts in 2021 and made a name for himself with a 57-yard field goal in the fog against Florida in 2020. He has hit on a kick from over 52 yards out in all three of his collegiate seasons.

Next on the list would probably be Texas product Cameron Dicker, otherwise known as 'Dicker the Kicker' from the Longhorn faithful. With an 86.7% conversion rate and only one missed extra point, he seems like a great fit for the next level. And if his impressive power wasn't enough to impress with multiple 50-yard boots, his versatility will. He acquired the punting duties in 2021 as well and was first-team All-Big 12 in doing so.

Other names that could be on the Dallas radar are fellow Big 12 kickers Andrew Mevis from Iowa State and Gabe Brkic from Oklahoma. Mevis was a Senior Bowl invite and had a 20-of-23 season while Brkic had some accuracy concerns (76.9%) but has the leg strength enough impress NFL teams across the league.

Nick Sciba from Wake Forest, Texas Tech's Jonathan Garibay, Caleb Shudak from Iowa, and Parker White out of South Carolina will all have a shot at making an NFL camp roster as well.

At the moment, there's nothing to suggest that Dallas has held formal meetings any of the names listed. However, the possibility of informal meetings at the combine or throughout the draft process is certainly there.

As unpredictable as draft weekend can become, Dallas will have to be ready for anything, including finding a new kicker either through free agency or in the actual draft.

And it looks like there are plenty of intriguing options for them to explore.

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