Cairo Santos NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report and More

Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2014

Tulane kicker Cairo Santos (19) tries to kick a 48-yard field goal late in the game during the second half of the New Orleans Bowl NCAA college football game, in New Orleans, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. Santos missed the kick to tie the game and Louisiana-Lafayette defeated Tulane 24-21. Holding for santos is Tulane punter Peter Picerelli (31).  (AP Photo/Bill Haber)
Bill Haber

Cairo Santos, K, Tulane (HT: 5'8", WT: 164 lbs.)

Combine Weigh In
508016428 1/2"9 7/8"



  • Four-year starter.
  • Strong leg on kickoffs that has improved steadily throughout his career. 
  • Forced a touchback on over 75 percent of his kickoffs in 2013. 
  • Has the leg to attempt deep field goals—connected on four field goals beyond 50 yards in his career. 
  • Demonstrated fairly consistent accuracy on intermediate kicks over the past two seasons—made 15 of 17 kicks in the 40-49 yard range during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
  • Showed off clutch kicking abilities with two game-winning kicks in 2013.
  • Filled in on punting duties briefly during sophomore season.



  • Accuracy is inconsistent—made 21 of 21 field-goal attempts during his junior year but connected on just 27 of 41 kicks in his sophomore and senior years combined.
  • Teams will have to wonder if his impressive junior year was only a fluke, because he has not sustained that type of consistency throughout his career.
  • Limited experience kicking outdoors and in cold weather (plays home games in a dome at Tulane).
  • Made 10 of 12 field goals at home in 2013 but just six of 11 on the road. 


Collegiate Statistics


Personal Notes

  • Won the Lou Groza Award as the top college kicker in 2012.
  • Born and raised in Brazil but moved to Florida as a foreign exchange student in order learn English.
  • Originally planned to spend one year as a foreign exchange student, but his success in football led him to stay to complete high school in an effort to earn a college scholarship. 
  • Grew up playing soccer in Brazil and did not play organized football until high school.
  • Also played wide receiver in high school.

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Santos' impressive junior year put him on the radar screen of scouts, but the inconsistency shown over the course of his career raises some doubt about his NFL future. Was the perfect junior year just a fluke? And how much was it influenced by playing in a dome and other warm-weather venues?

Santos' ability to stick on an NFL roster may depend on his performance on kickoffs. He has steadily improved throughout his career, but he doesn't have dominant leg strength. If he's only an average field-goal kicker, he'll need to support his case with a strong performance on kickoffs.


Draft Projection: 7th round-UDFA