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B/R NFL 1000 2013: Top 32 Kickers

Matt MillerNFL Draft Lead WriterMarch 14, 2013

B/R NFL 1000 2013: Top 32 Kickers

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    To determine who the NFL's best kicker was during the 2012 season, our team of experienced scouts looked largely at production, rather than mechanics or traits. This is the same method used by NFL front offices when scouting college and NFL kickers. If it works for them, it works for us.

    It is a departure from how we handle most positions in this second edition of the B/R NFL 1,000. Our other rankings, except for punters, judge players based on our study of their skills on film, not their numbers on a page.

    Kickers were scored for a maximum 100 points based on an equal split between kicking accuracy and power. Field goals were broken down into tiers—under 30 yards, 31-39 yards, 40-49 yards and 50-plus yards. We then calculated percentages for each kicker in these tiers.

    It is important to note that we didn't penalize kickers if they missed attempts from an impossible range. We call this the "Greg Zuerlein rule": penalizing a kicker for a missed 63-yard attempt seems silly. That means a player with a lower field-goal percentage won't necessarily have a lower "accuracy" score than a player with a higher percentage.

    In the case of ties, I have asked myself, "Which player would I rather have on my team?" and set the rankings accordingly. Subjective? Yes. But ties are no fun.

     

    All stats are from Pro Football Focus or Pro-Football-Reference.com.

32. Mason Crosby, Green Bay Packers

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    20/50

    Mason Crosby wasn’t himself in 2012. His 63.6 percent accuracy rating was the worst of any full-time kicker. The lowest-rated kicker from 2012, Crosby’s poor accuracy couldn’t be helped by his good power and range.

    Field-Goal Power

    39/50

    Crosby is known for his big leg from his college days, but in 2012 his range was a bit off. He went just 2-of-9 from beyond 50 yards. The power is there, but the accuracy was not, and that hurts his overall score.

    Overall

    59/100

    The Packers seem loyal to Crosby, but some competition in the offseason is likely. Crosby will be given one more chance to prove the 2012 season was a fluke.

     

    Crosby was ranked No. 13 in last year's B/R 1,000.

31. Nick Folk, New York Jets

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    29/50

    Ranked No. 28 on the year in terms of accuracy, Nick Folk made just 77.8 percent of his attempts. Folk struggled from every range, missing at least one kick from every 10-yard tier we judged.

    Field-Goal Power

    39/50

    Folk missed on just one attempt over 50 yards, but he only tried four times. The Jets knew that Folk’s range was closer to the 49-yard mark and kept his attempts in that ballpark.

    Overall

    68/100

    The New York Jets should be in the market for a new kicker this offseason. Folk simply didn’t make the kicks the team needed him to make.

     

    Folk was tied at No. 22 in last year's B/R 1,000.

30. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    30/50

    Once an automatic kicker no matter the conditions, Adam Vinatieri struggled with accuracy, hitting just 78.8 percent of his attempts in 2012. Perhaps most troubling was his 4-of-7 record on attempts between 30 and 39 yards.

    Field-Goal Power

    38/50

    Still a powerful kicker, Vinatieri can boom the ball on one-off kicks, but his consistency has dropped off. His long of 53 isn’t bad, but it’s not remarkable either. Going 4-of-7 beyond 50 yards didn't help his case much.

    Overall

    68/100

    A future Hall of Famer, Vinatieri is no longer as reliable or as powerful as he used to be. A storied career could be nearing an end.

     

    Vinatieri was tied at No. 15 in last year's B/R 1,000.

29. Matt Prater, Denver Broncos

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    31/50

    The No. 26-rated kicker in terms of accuracy from 2012, Matt Prater hit on 81.3 percent of his kicks. That’s not good enough for a playoff team. Prater missed four of his nine attempts between 40-49 yards.

    Field-Goal Power

    38/50

    Prater’s range in the thin air of Denver’s altitude should make for long-kicking success, though he only had four attempts beyond 50 yards, going 3-of-4. Prater’s 53-yard long and his few attempts deep kept our team from upping his power score.

    Overall

    69/100

    Prater had a poor 2012 season, but it didn’t keep the Broncos from winning the No. 1 seed in the AFC. He’s talented enough to bounce back with a better 2013.

     

    Prater was ranked No. 7 in last year's B/R 1,000.

28. David Akers, San Francisco 49ers

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    22/50

    The 2012 season was ugly for David Akers. He made just 69 percent of his kicks and was a woeful 9-of-19 in the all-important 40-plus-yard range.

    Field-Goal Power

    48/50

    Akers was an odd grade this year. He has a huge leg—noted by his long of 63 yards—but his accuracy on long kicks had fallen off by season's end. If we’re talking pure power, Akers is up there.

    Overall

    70/100

    What happened to David Akers? One of the game’s best kickers in 2011, Akers fell apart last season. He was cut by the 49ers after the season, and he may be looking for work for a while.

     

    Akers was ranked No. 2 in last year's B/R 1,000.

27. Garrett Hartley, New Orleans Saints

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    32/50

    Garrett Hartley kicks in a dome and is supported by a high-profile offense. That said, his 81.8 percent on field-goal attempts wasn’t good enough. That puts him at No. 22 overall and is a part of the Saints’ struggles in 2012.

    Field-Goal Power

    38/50

    Hartley was 5-of-7 beyond 40 yards this past season, a very low number of attempts from that range. His long kick of 53 yards was about average, but this was a poor year from Hartley in terms of range and power.

    Overall

    70/100

    A better kicker than his 2012 season would indicate, Hartley should bounce back in 2013 with better game management and more consistency around him.

     

    Hartley was not ranked in last year's B/R 1,000.

26. Rob Bironas, Tennessee Titans

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    33/50

    Rob Bironas just signed a deal to stay with the Tennessee Titans. They must be hoping he reverts back to 2011 form. Bironas made just 80.6 percent of his kicks last season. That would be good for No. 26 overall.

    Field-Goal Power

    38/50

    Bironas showed some power with a 53-yard long on the year, but we were troubled by his range and accuracy beyond 40 yards. He had six misses on the year from 12 attempts beyond 40 yards. That doesn’t show the range and accuracy we wanted.

    Overall

    71/100

    Bironas is a big-money kicker now, and he needs to play like it. He has to nail down the inconsistency that cost him on longer kicks this past season. Bironas is better than his 2012 season.

     

    Bironas was tied at No. 8 in last year's B/R 1,000.

25. Lawrence Tynes, New York Giants

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    36/50

    With just 33 makes on 39 attempts, Lawrence Tynes ranked No. 17 overall in the league. His 84.6 percent accuracy rating doesn’t quite cut it. The Giants decided to move on from Tynes, signing Josh Brown.

    Field-Goal Power

    35/50

    A long field goal of 50 and just 1-of-3 makes beyond that range show that Tynes doesn’t rank with the top power kickers in today’s game.

    Overall

    71/100

    A real liability in 2012, Tynes will hope he can find work in 2013. 

     

    Tynes was tied at No. 29 in last year's B/R 1,000.

24. Dan Carpenter, Miami Dolphins

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    33/50

    With just 81.5 percent of kicks made last season, Dan Carpenter ranked No. 24 overall on the season. Carpenter was much better if you look at his accuracy inside of 50 yards, but he was too inconsistent for our liking.

    Field-Goal Power

    38/50

    A long of 53 yards put Carpenter in the middle of the pack on the year. Carpenter was also just 2-of-5 from beyond 50 yards, showing that power isn’t his game.

    Overall

    71/100

    Carpenter and the field-goal team weren’t a strength for the Dolphins in 2012. His overall accuracy and range were limited.

     

    Carpenter was tied at No. 5 in last year's B/R 1,000.

23. Shayne Graham, Houston Texans

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    35/50

    Shayne Graham made 81.6 percent of his kicks in 2012. That's good for No. 23 overall. He was perfect inside of 40 yards—20-of-20—but struggled on deeper kicks.

    Field-Goal Power

    36/50

    All of Graham’s misses on the year came on longer kicks. He was just 4-of-9 outside of 50 yards. The Texans were clearly comfortable with his range, but his accuracy on those kicks was poor.

    Overall

    71/100

    Graham was a very good kicker if you just look at attempts inside of 40 yards, but we can’t rule out the longer attempts he missed.

     

    Graham was not ranked in last year's B/R 1,000.

22. Alex Henery, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    39/50

    Alex Henery made 87.1 percent of his attempts, which was a step back from his 88.9 percent mark of 2011. He was the NFL's No. 14-ranked field goal kicker in 2012.

    Field-Goal Power

    34/50

    Henery’s long of 49 yards was the shortest of any kicker to make our top 32. He doesn’t show the power or range to be effective on longer attempts. The Eagles had him try beyond 50 yards just once all season.

    Overall

    73/100

    Henery is a good short-range kicker, but his lack of distance and power are a pretty sizable liability.

     

    Henery was ranked No. 19 in last year's B/R 1,000.

21. Ryan Succop, Kansas City Chiefs

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    37/50

    Ryan Succop didn’t miss on his two attempts beyond 50 yards, but he was troubled from 20 to 49 yards, with six misses on 32 attempts. That was good for No. 21-ranked accuracy.

    Field-Goal Power

    37/50

    A long of 52 on the year wasn’t great, but it puts Succop in the middle of the pack. He was a perfect 2-of-2 on 50-yard attempts, but he has limited range beyond low 50-yard attempts.

    Overall

    74/100

    The Chiefs had a lot of problems in 2012, and Succop’s accuracy was one of them. An average kicker with limited range this past season, Succop has to show better short-to-intermediate accuracy in 2013.

     

    Succop was ranked No. 12 in last year's B/R 1,000.

20. Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    37/50

    Stephen Gostkowski’s 2012 season wasn’t his best. His missed six kicks on the year—two between 30-39 yards and four between 40-49 yards. That’s uncommon for a player we ranked as one of the best in 2011.

    Field-Goal Power

    38/50

    Gostkowski is more of a precision and at times clutch kicker not known for his power and range. He’ll hit the rare 55-yarder but is a much safer bet around the 50-yard mark on field-goal attempts.

    Overall

    75/100

    As the Patriots kicker, Gostkowski gets a lot of national attention, but his 2012 season was below average for his standards.

     

    Gostkowski was tied at No. 5 in last year's B/R 1,000.

19. Mike Nugent, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    36/50

    Mike Nugent was a mid-level kicker for the Bengals last season, connecting on 82.6 percent of kicks. That was good for No. 20 overall. Nugent’s four misses on the season all came beyond 40 yards.

    Field-Goal Power

    39/50

    Nugent has good range but was limited more in 2012, partially due to injuries. He’s comfortable to around 52 yards and can occasionally be used on longer attempts.

    Overall

    75/100

    An injury ended Mike Nugent’s season, but before that he was solid if unspectacular for the Bengals. The team was slightly better off with Josh Brown handling field goals. 

     

    Nugent was tied at No. 15 in last year's B/R 1,000.

18. Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    36/50

    Robbie Gould has to kick in some crazy weather conditions, but even on the road his accuracy was just average in 2012. He made just 84 percent of his attempts on the season, including four misses inside of 50 yards.

    Field-Goal Power

    39/50

    Gould showed better power than accuracy this season, but he’s still a limited distance kicker. The Bears had him attempt just two field goals longer than 50 yards. Gould is much better around 45 yards.

    Overall

    75/100

    Gould saw his accuracy drop to 84 percent in 2012 and saw his range diminish too. While Gould was a top-ranked deep threat in 2011, this season was merely average.

     

    Gould was ranked No. 4 in last year's B/R 1,000.

17. Josh Scobee, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    41/50

    Josh Scobee missed just three kicks on the year, good for No. 10 overall at 89.3 percent made. Scobee is very good inside of 50 yards but missed two kicks in the 40-49-yard range.

    Field-Goal Power

    35/50

    A limited kicker in terms of power, Scobee doesn’t show elite ability to drill long kicks or extend the scoring range of the team. He’s shaky outside of 50 yards and really shouldn’t be asked to attempt kicks outside of that range.

    Overall

    76/100

    Scobee does a good job inside his comfort zone. When the head coach knows his kicker doesn’t have great range, it’s best not to test it, and that’s the bottom line with Scobee. Use him inside of 50 yards and you have a very good kicker.

     

    Scobee was ranked No. 3 in last year's B/R 1,000.

16. Rian Lindell, Buffalo Bills

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    42/50

    Ranked No. 13 on the year with 87.5 percent of his kicks made, Rian Lindell gets one of our higher scores for accuracy. He was deadly inside 50 yards, missing on just one of his 15 attempts.

    Field-Goal Power

    35/50

    Lindell was accurate on short kicks, but his lack of range showed up both in attempts and makes. He was only asked to attempt two kicks beyond 50 yards—and this was on a team without a great offense. Lindell’s range is safely in the high 40-yard area, but nothing farther.

    Overall

    77/100

    Lindell is a good kicker with limited range. If you are comfortable with an offense that can get your kicker in range often, he’s excellent, but what Lindell won’t do is extend the scoring range of your offense if the unit struggles.

     

    Lindell was tied at No. 15 in last year's B/R 1,000 ranking.

15. Steven Hauschka, Seattle Seahawks

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    41/50

    An 88.9 percent kicker on the year, Steven Hauschka did a good job in pressure situations inside the 50-yard range. He was a perfect 23-of-23 on attempts inside of 50 yards.

    Field-Goal Power

    37/50

    Hauschka’s limitations came on distance kicks. He was 1-of-4 on attempts over 50 yards and had a long of just 52 yards. The Seahawks are smart to punt in situations where the attempt would be over that 52-yard mark.

    Overall

    78/100

    A very good kicker with balanced range and accuracy, the Seahawks know where they stand with Hauschka and can feel that they have one of the game’s best inside of 50 yards.

     

    Hauschka was ranked No. 14 in last year's B/R 1,000.

14. Nick Novak, San Diego Chargers

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    42/50

    Nick Novak made 90 percent of his kicks in 2012, good for No. 8 overall. He was a perfect 16-of-16 inside 50 yards, showing off very good consistency and precision on shorter kicks.

    Field-Goal Power

    36/50

    One knock on Novak’s game is his lack of range. He attempted just four kicks longer than 50 yards and missed two of them. His long on the year was just 51 yards.

    Overall

    78/100

    An accurate short-range kicker, Novak is a little limited in his range for our liking. He’s excellent when the offense can get him inside 50 yards, but late in the game you’re always worrying about his distance.

     

    Novak was ranked No. 20 in last year's B/R 1,000.

13. Shaun Suisham, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    42/50

    Ranked No. 7 on the year with 90.3 percent of his kicks made, Shaun Suisham was one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL during the 2012 season. Were it not for his two misses beyond 50 yards, Suisham would have had just one miss on the year.

    Field-Goal Power

    37/50

    Suisham was 1-of-3 from beyond 50 yards with a long of just 52 yards. His range is closer to the high 40s and nothing further. The Steelers don’t use Suisham on kicks beyond that range often.

    Overall

    79/100

    A good short-game kicker, Suisham doesn’t possess the power to make tough kicks outside of 50 yards.

     

    Suisham was ranked No. 31 in last year's B/R 1,000.

12. Jason Hanson, Detroit Lions

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    41/50

    A field-goal percentage of 88.9 percent was good for No. 11 in the NFL last season. Hanson had four misses on the year, all beyond 40 yards.

    Field-Goal Power

    38/50

    Hanson made all 14 of his attempts inside 40 yards, but once tested, his range and accuracy dipped. An aging kicker who benefits from kicking inside, Hanson’s power is gradually fading when asked to take on longer field goals.

    Overall

    79/100

    The 42-year-old kicker was in the upper half of NFL kickers in 2012, but his longevity and decreased range make him a liability at times.

     

    Hanson was tied at No. 8 in last year's B/R 1,000.

11. Josh Brown, Cincinnati Bengals

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    44/50

    With a 91.7 percent rating in the games he was active, Brown was one of the higher-ranked field-goal kickers in the NFL. Brown was 11-of-12 on the year, with his only miss coming past 50 yards.

    Field-Goal Power

    37/50

    Brown’s long on the season was just 50 yards, highlighting a limitation in his game. Brown is great inside the 50, but his accuracy starts to waver after that.

    Overall

    81/100

    Brown came in for the Bengals when Mike Nugent was injured, and he proved to be the better option for the team in 2012.

     

    Brown was tied at No. 22 in last year's B/R 1,000.

10. Matt Bryant, Atlanta Falcons

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    41/50

    A dome kicker, Matt Bryant’s accuracy was solid in 2012 as he connected on 86.8 percent of his kicks—not great, but not bad either. Bryant was mostly automatic inside 40 yards, but he struggled when his range was extended.

    Field-Goal Power

    40/50

    Three of Bryant’s five misses on the year came on attempts beyond 40 yards. What we did like was his perfect score from beyond 50 yards—4-of-4—and his ability under pressure.

    Overall

    81/100

    Bryant was consistent all season, helping the Atlanta Falcons to the NFC’s best record and home-field advantage in the playoffs.

     

    Bryant was tied at No. 8 in last year's B/R 1,000.

9. Kai Forbath, Washington Redskins

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    45/50

    Having connected on 94.4 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2012, Kai Forbath was the second-highest-rated kicker we saw in more than three games this season.

    Field-Goal Power

    38/50

    The Redskins only had Forbath kick outside the 50-yard range once this year. His longest make was 51 yards, with his 16 other attempts all coming inside 50 yards.

    Overall

    83/100

    Forbath was an 11-game starter during the regular season, and an accurate one at that. What kept his rating down was a lack of power and range.

     

    Forbath was not ranked in last year's B/R 1,000.

8. Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    48/50

    Dan Bailey’s accuracy in 2012 was second best among any field-goal kicker who played in more than three games. He connected on 93.5 percent of his kicks with just two misses on the year—both beyond 50 yards.

    Field-Goal Power

    36/50

    Bailey kicks in a dome, which helps limit the elements that would affect his craft. He’s also not tested outside his range often. Bailey attempted just five kicks over 50 yards, making three. His long on the year was a pedestrian 51 yards.

    Overall

    84/100

    One of the game’s most accurate field-goal kickers among eligible players, Bailey was 29-of-31 on the year, but his lack of power and range keeps him down on our board.

     

    Bailey was tied at No. 15 in last year's B/R 1,000.

7. Connor Barth, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    43/50

    Connor Barth ranked No. 16 overall in field-goal accuracy, finishing with 84.8 percent of his kicks made on the year. Were it not for three missed kicks beyond 50 yards, Barth would have had just two misses on the year, though.

    Field-Goal Power

    41/50

    Barth had a long field goal of 57 yards in 2012, and as mentioned above, he struggled with kicks over 50 yards. In previous seasons, his range has been in the mid-50-yard range.

    Overall

    84/100

    Barth is a strong, accurate kicker who has been one of the most consistent in the NFL. His five total misses on the year knocked down his accuracy rating, but Barth is still almost automatic inside the 50-yard line.

     

    Barth was ranked No. 11 in last year's B/R 1,000.

6. Jay Feely, Arizona Cardinals

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    40/50

    Jay Feely connected on 89.3 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2012, with his only misses coming between 30-50 yards.

    Field-Goal Power

    45/50

    With a long of 61 yards this season, Feely showed good distance on field-goal attempts. He was a solid 2-of-2 from more than 50 yards on the year. Feely benefits from kicking indoors often, but his power is still top-notch.

    Overall

    85/100

    Feely was solid all season for the Cardinals, and it was surprising (for an older player) that his power was actually better than his accuracy. Both were good enough to land him in our top six.

     

    Feely was tied at No. 29 in last year's B/R 1,000.

5. Greg Zuerlein, St. Louis Rams

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    40/50

    You probably heard about Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein this season. He started off red hot and received a ton of attention. While he is one of the most promising young kickers in the NFL, missed attempts between 30-39 and on 50-plus yards knock down his score.

    Field-Goal Power

    45/50

    There is no doubting that Zuerlein has one of the biggest legs in the game, but how did he do when asked to use that leg power? Zuerlein finished the year with a 74.2 percent field-goal accuracy thanks to six misses over 50 yards. He definitely has range, but improving his accuracy and learning his limitations are key.

    Overall

    85/100

    There was a certain hype surrounding Zuerlein this season, especially early in the year. He was asked to attempt the most 50-plus-yard field goals in the NFL last season, driving down his accuracy rating. While Zuerlein showed great potential, he also cost the team wins against Miami and San Francisco due to missed kicks.

     

    Zuerlein was not ranked in last year's B/R 1,000.

4. Phil Dawson, Cleveland Browns

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    48/50

    One of the best outdoor kickers in the NFL, if not the best, Phil Dawson is a precision kicker in the elements. He nailed 93.5 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2012 and made 13-of-13 beyond 40 yards.

    Field-Goal Power

    38/50

    Dawson’s leg strength has never been great, and as he ages that range shortens a bit. He’s an accurate kicker, like a golfer with an excellent chipper. Get him inside the 45 and he’s rarely missing.

    Overall

    86/100

    Dawson may go down as one of the most consistent kickers of this generation. What he has been able to do consistently year after year is brilliant. His 2012 was too.

     

    Dawson was ranked No. 21 in last year's B/R 1,000.

3. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland Raiders

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    39/50

    You might be surprised to see Sebastian Janikowski ranked so low in accuracy, but the numbers back it up. Janikowski connected on 91.2 percent of his kicks in 2012 but was 6-of-9 outside of 50 yards.

    Field-Goal Power

    49/50

    Janikowski’s leg power is well known and rarely disappoints. His long on the year was a 57-yarder, but he’s shown in the past that he can make it beyond that range. Deep accuracy has always been a struggle, though. Janikowski is a good case study in leg power vs. deep accuracy.

    Overall

    88/100

    One of the most powerful kickers in the NFL, Janikowski has excellent range and delivery. However, that range puts him in difficult situations.

     

    Janikowski was ranked No. 1 in last year's B/R 1,000.

2. Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    46/50

    Justin Tucker wasn’t timid in his rookie season. The former Longhorn connected on 90.9 percent of his kicks—including a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond 50 yards. Tucker’s three misses on the year came from between 40-49 yards. Add in what Tucker did in the postseason and he was the second most accurate kicker in the NFL this season.

    Field-Goal Power

    43/50

    Tucker showed that, for a little guy, he has a big leg. He nailed a 56-yarder for his longest of the regular season and was perfect on kicks longer than 50 yards.

    Overall

    89/100

    The Ravens’ rookie kicker was a bright spot for the Super Bowl champions, showing poise under pressure and the leg to carry the team to victories.

     

    Tucker was not ranked in last year's B/R 1,000.

1. Blair Walsh, Minnesota Vikings

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    Field-Goal Accuracy

    45/50

    Blair Walsh played in 17 games this year, including the playoffs. He missed just three kicks. His 92.1 percent overall accuracy was one of the best we saw all season.

    Field-Goal Power

    46/50

    Walsh showed off very good range on field-goal attempts while also showing deep accuracy. He was a perfect 10-of-10 from beyond 50 yards on the season and knocked home a long of 56 yards.

    Overall

    91/100

    Not bad for a rookie kicker. Walsh ranked as our top overall field-goal kicker based on his accuracy and range throughout the regular season and playoffs.

     

    Walsh was not ranked in last year's B/R 1,000.

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