Breaking down kicker situation
Last season for the New York Jets, the special teams was atrocious. The kickers were no exception as there is a heated battle in the positional group so far during training camp.
The depth chart is pretty much set at many positions. However, there will be a true competition for the kickers in camp, and expect Ross Martin, the undrafted free agent rookie to fight hard for a starting spot.
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Kicker is probably the easiest position from college to the pros. There’s no contact for kickers, so they don’t necessarily have to adjust to the speed of the game. So, Martin should be able to make the transition.
Last season the Jets kickers were some of the worst in the league. According to the website Team Rankings, the Jets’ field goal percentage of 81.8% had them finish 24th in the league and their kickoff touch back percentage of 39.5% was 31st in the NFL.
The Jets have a tough schedule this season, and they may be kicking a lot of field goals. The Jets attempted 33 field goals, which was 10th in the NFL in 2015, and they missed six.
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Last season, three teams attempted 40+ field goals. Expect the Jets to be in that range this season.
Kicker Nick Folk is known for his consistency but he has an injury that might set him back going forward.
On November 10, 2015, the Jets placed Folk on injured reserve due to a quad injury.
He went 13-16 (81.3%) prior to landing on IR.
He made both field goals from the 50+ range and three out of six from 40-49.
Folk’s only competition is kicker Ross Martin, who has a booming leg. He has converted 83.9% of his field goals at Duke. This includes 90% from 50+ and 13-16 from 40+ in his junior and senior seasons. He scored 100+ points in three of his four season and finished three points short in 2013.
Marin’s only weakness is on kickoffs. According to his NFL.com draft profile, he averaged 59.9 yards per kickoff at Duke, but kickers don’t have to be used on kickoffs. The Jets can use Lachlan Edwards, who is most likely to land punting duties, on kickoffs.
The Jets should consider the scoring aspect of the position over the kickoffs, because they don’t have to use their kicker for them. Despite setting many individual records in 2015, as a team the Jets were not sufficient enough when it came to scoring points.
According to Sporting Charts, the Jets ranked 14th in the NFL in scoring percentage. They scored on 39.7% of their drives and averaged 59 yards per drive.
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They will need to attempt more kicks in the 40+ range, because they didn’t have kickers with great legs. The Jets will also need to convert more scoring opportunities. So, Martin will most likely land the job.