The San Francisco 49ers acquired kicker Zane Gonzalez in a trade with the Panthers last month, but the Niners have done their due diligence on the top kickers in the 2023 NFL Draft.
According to a report by Matt Barrows of The Athletic, the 49ers worked out Michigan kicker Jake Moody and Maryland kicker Chad Ryland, while special teams' coordinator Brian Schneider worked out Auburn kicker Anders Carlson in March.
Moody is considered the consensus top kicking prospect in this year’s draft class. Moody made all 148 extra-point attempts during his collegiate career and made 82.1% of his field-goal attempts (69-for-84). Moody won the 2021 Lou Groza Award, given to the best placekicker in NCAA football, and he was a finalist for the award this season.
Ryland spent the first four years of his college career at Eastern Michigan before transferring to Maryland this season. Ryland was not as effective as Moody in college, making 97.3% of his career extra points and 77.3% of his field goals, but he showed the ability to make big kicks in difficult environments. Last season, he made all of his field-goal attempts inside 40 yards.
Carlson, the brother of Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson, has been the starting kicker at Auburn for the past five seasons but is considered a fringe draft prospect. Carlson made 173 of his 176 extra-point attempts and handled kickoff duties but was far less efficient than Moody and Ryland on field goals. Carlson was 79-for-110 (71.8%) on three-point attempts.
He did make multiple 50+ yard field goals over his career, but only had a long of 46 this past season. He could be a name to keep an eye on if the Niners are planning to wait until the seventh round of undrafted free agency to add a player to compete with Gonzalez.