The San Francisco 49ers have had a few more practices, so it’s probably time to return to Kicker Kombat and see how third round pick and friend of Punterville, Jake Moody is doing in his Kompetion with Zane Gonzalez. I say “Kompetition” loosely, as there isn’t much of one. Unless Moody were to take a dive, he’s going to be there on the sole reason the 49ers burned a 3rd rounder. But despite draft positioning, he’s looked good. Like really good.
Dude is ballin—errr...” Kicking.” Reports from Tuesday’s practice indicate he was not only booting kicks through the uprights. He was drilling them with plenty of yards to spare. The big one was a 60-yarder that had plenty of distance to keep going.
He went 5-6 on the day, making kicks of 33, 38, 48, 53 and 60 yards. The sole miss was a 43-yarder.
And here’s a video of that leg.
57 yard FG from Jake Moody with room to spare.— Steph Sanchez (@Steph49K) August 1, 2023
This was right after another kick that went over the fence (was a flag on that one) pic.twitter.com/Jr7355rGAX
On Monday, he was perfect, nailing 38, 48 and 55-yarders.
We haven’t talked about that sole miss, the 43-yarder and being honest? We probably don’t need to. Misses aren’t as frequent as those bombs he’s driving.
While Gonzalez was perfect Tuesday with 38, 48, and 57-yarders, Jake Moody is materializing into the kicker. Despite not winning Tuesday with a Flawless Victory, Moody will have enough leg (and minimal salary cap space) to be the guy for a few years.
The one thing to bring up though is we need to see him on game day. Roberto Aguayo came with a lot of pedigree, which is why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers burned a second rounder on him.
There wasn’t anything to indicate he would be as unreliable as he was if you chalked his head scratching training camp up to rookie jitters. That said, when he missed his first XP attempt ever in a preseason game, then two more chip shots a week later, you knew things were looking bad.
Much like Trey Lance’s improved mechanics and my desire to see it in pads, we need to see Moody’s performance in a preseason game and ultimately game day. If he can carry this over to those, the 49ers have a winner. In fact, with how much hang-time his boots have, the 49ers might be able to start looking at longer distances for field goals that wouldn’t have been possible with former kicker Robbie Gould.
So if Moody is winning and were to ultimately take the victory in Kicker Kombat, what happens to Gonzalez? He’s been having a good camp himself. The 49ers very well could deal him for a 7th round draft pick. This is provided a team has a late 7th rounder to give because that’s the most expensive he’ll get. If teams are not happy with their kicker situation after some preseason games, they could go grab Gonzalez on a cheap deal to fill the void. Or the 49ers can cut him.
Regardless of if you think the 3rd rounder on Moody was a reach, he at least will not be a bust and if this keeps up, he’s a cheaper improvement over his predecessor.