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How early is too early to select a kicker?

History suggests that the 49ers don’t have to use a draft pick on a kicker

Penn State v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

A Robbie Gould to the 49ers reunion appears unlikely. The team worked out three kickers a week ago leading up to the draft, and this is on the heels of acquiring former Panthers' kicker Zane Gonzalez via trade on March 24.

Here’s a look at the 49ers draft picks:

  • Round 3, Pick 99 (compensatory)
  • Round 3, Pick 101 (compensatory)
  • Round 3, Pick 102 (compensatory)
  • Round 5, Pick 155 (via Miami Dolphins)
  • Round 5, Pick 164
  • Round 5, Pick 173 (compensatory)
  • Round 6, Pick 216 (compensatory)
  • Round 7, Pick 222 (via Denver Broncos)
  • Round 7, Pick 247
  • Round 7, Pick 253 (compensatory)
  • Round 7, Pick 255 (compensatory)

It’s difficult to imagine 11 players making the roster, so a trade feels inevitable. With that in mind, how high is too high to select a kicker? Those first three picks feel reserved for a right tackle, defensive back, and perhaps an edge rusher.

But once we get deep into Day 3, we might see a kicker taken sooner than later. Michigan’s Jake Moody is a fan favorite, likely because he’s the most notable name, and is projected to go in the 160 range, according to Mock Draft Database.

Chad Ryland is the next highest-rated kicker, and he’s projected to go in the 215 range, so toward the end of the sixth round. The final kicker, Anders Carlson, is predicted to go undrafted.

San Francisco has had immense success drafting players who help right away, which would make me leery of taking a kicker. Much has been made about the hit rate in the fifth round, but even in the sixth round, we’re talking about Elijah Mitchell and D.J. Jones.

According to Sports Info Solutions, there was a logjam between the top eight kickers in the NFL last year. They were separated by a combined 2.5 points earned. Here’s a look at who they are and where they were drafted:

Matt Gay - 5th round, 7th overall
Daniel Carlson - 5th round, 30th overall
Graham Gano, UDFA
Eddy Pineiro, UDFA
Justin Tucker, UDFA
Jason Myers, UDFA
Ka’imi Fairbairn, UDFA
Tyler Bass - 6th round, 9th overall

This information shows us that San Francisco doesn’t need to “force” a pick on a kicker such as Moody. Each year, there are kickers who go undrafted and wind up being just as if not more productive than the one or two kickers who are selected within the first seven rounds.

Based on where the 49ers pick, where are you taking a kicker?


Where should the 49ers draft a kicker?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    With one of the 3rd round picks
    (31 votes)
  • 22%
    With one of the 5th round picks
    (216 votes)
  • 19%
    In the 6th round
    (194 votes)
  • 24%
    In the 7th round
    (241 votes)
  • 29%
    Sign one as a UDFA
    (290 votes)
972 votes total Vote Now