B/R NFL 1,000: A Scout's Guide to Grading Kickers and Punters

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B/R NFL 1,000: A Scout's Guide to Grading Kickers and Punters
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A great kicker or punter is rarely noticed, with the casual fan only learning their name when a mistake is made. But filling these two very important positions can make or break a front office and a coaching staff.

How many games were won or lost during the 2011 season because of a field goal, or a great punt that pinned an offense deep with time expiring?

What do we look for when scouting kickers and punters? Scouting these two positions is not easy, and for those of us who never played the position, we can be thankful that scouting kickers and punters is becoming more about math than the scout's eye.

Here's a breakdown of the key traits for each. Check out the B/R NFL 1,000 to see our rankings of today's kickers and punters.

Special thanks to ProFootballFocus.com for providing kicking statistics.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Punters

Inside the 20

Graded on a percentage of how many punts the punter successfully pins inside the 20-yard line.

Inside the 10

Called the "coffin corner," we're grading on a percentage how many kicks the punter successfully pins inside the 10-yard line. 

Power

Measuring raw distance here, how far is the average and maximum punt in length?

Hang Time

The amount of time the ball hangs in the air before beginning its descent.

Accuracy

Keeping the ball in bounds is key for punters. How well does the punter place the ball on the field? 

Overall

The cumulative score of the five traits above, all wrapped up in one. This sets the player's place in the position ranking and, ultimately, in the B/R NFL 1,000 ranking across all positions. 

 

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Kickers

Accuracy

Put simply: How many kicks does he make and how many does he miss?

Kickoff Power

Kickoff power doesn't take into account hang time—purely distance.

Field-Goal Power

What is the kicker's range? Players hitting beyond 55 yards consistently are considered elite in today's NFL.

Hang Time

The amount of time the ball hangs in the air before beginning its descent.

Carlson Rating

This stat, devised a few years ago by NFL blogger Mike Carlson measures a kicker's accuracy by assigning points for made kicks, depending on distance, and by taking away points for missed kicks—again, varying by distance. 

You can learn more about what we call the Carlson Rating (and is also known by a cruder acronym) at Cold Hard Football Facts.

Overall

The cumulative score of the five traits above, all wrapped up in one. This sets the player's place in the position ranking and, ultimately, in the B/R NFL 1,000 ranking across all positions.



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