You know it, I know it, everyone else knows it too–the 2017 Kicker Rankings don’t really need a lead. You will take a three-second look, see if anything looks unusual, and likely move on with your life.
If you want to take that three-second look now, go ahead. I won’t be insulted. But for those of you who are a little more patient, let’s have some fun.
I know I’m not the only one, but there are certain athletes when I hear their name I can’t help but think of certain movies. For example, when I hear about Texas Rangers Joey Gallo, I can’t help but think of “Jerry Callo” in My Cousin Vinny. (if you’ve seen the movie it makes much more sense). Well, every time I hear about Broncos kicker Brandon McManus, I think of McManus from The Usual Suspects.
If you haven’t seen the movie, go watch it. Kevin Spacey has quite the body of work to choose from and it is my favorite Kevin Spacey movie. Of course, Stephen Baldwin plays McManus in the Usual Suspects but if I told you it was the best Stephen Baldwin movie you wouldn’t exactly rush to order it would you?
Anyway, when McManus says “The strangest thing….” everything starts to unravel in that movie. So too is the case in our 2017 Kicker Rankings.
2017 Kicker Rankings
Here they are….
2017 Kicker Rankings: Takeaways
So let’s start with the aforementioned McManus. This is where the first real separation begins in our rankings. And no, it’s not because I love the McManus character in the Usual Suspects. Unlike my fellow rankers, I really do think McManus is a Top 10 kicker. For one, the thin air in Denver ALWAYS makes the Broncos kicker one of the better kickers to have, especially if your league awards for longer field goals and doesn’t penalize for long attempts. McManus has made over 85% of his kicks each of the last two years. That percentage made includes a 55-yarder last year and a 57-yarder the previous year. Most of the time I can follow the logic behind my fellow rankers. But leaving McManus out of the top ten kickers makes no sense to me.
McManus has made over 85% of his kicks each of the last two years. That percentage made includes a 55-yarder last year and a 57-yarder the previous year. Most of the time I can follow the logic behind my fellow rankers. But leaving McManus out of the Top 10t makes no sense to me.
It makes sense that Gonos ranked Stephen Gostowski over Justin Tucker. He’s wrong, but it makes sense. Of course, my cup of love for Tucker probably runneth over, but Tomlin and LaPresto agree with me. If you’re going to be the one to break the ice with a kicker, I suggest you make it Tucker.
Gonos also broke ranks by swapping Dan Bailey and Matt Bryant. But the reason I put Bailey ahead of Bryant was that Bailey hit 100% of his extra point attempts while Bryant missed one. I also think Atlanta regresses this year but of course, that could mean fewer TDs and more FGs. The two kickers are very close. Don’t make more out of it than it should be.
A big break in the rankings comes at #14 (Dustin Hopkins). Just because Mark Moseley was the last kicker to win an MVP award (look it up, it’s true!), doesn’t mean that Washington still has an MVP kicker. Hopkins missed three extra points and made only 85% in the 30-39 range. That’s enough to scare me … a lot. Perhaps it didn’t scare my fellow rankers enough (although I’m guessing they didn’t research kickers as much as I did), but we all have him outside of the Top 12 kickers. Put another way, try not to draft Hopkins.
Finally, we all seemed to have our favorites once we got into the 20s. And I understand the hesitancy to include a Ram. However, Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein was one of only five kickers who hit 100% of his extra points. This past year his longest FG was “only” 54 yards compared to the 61 he had the previous year. Remember that 85% number for Brandon McManus above? Well, Zuerlein hit 86% of his FG attempts and was 100% from less than 40 yards. Should he be the first kicker grabbed? No, but not putting him in the Top 25? As McManus says, “The strangest thing….”
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