In what will be an ongoing series, I will be taking a look at each position on the Detroit Lions roster and examine where things stand, who has the best shot at making the final 53-man roster, and whether or not we improved in this area. Next up, special teams.
Current players on roster: Nate Freese, Giorgio Tavecchio
After being spoiled with kicking phenoms like Eddie Murray and Jason Hanson, the Detroit Lions are not used to being in this type of situation of having an uncertainty at the kicker position. Last year they tried to rent David Akers for a year, but that experiment didn’t work out too well.
Last year the Lions drafted Sam Martin in the fifth-round to take over starting punting duties and it worked wonders for them. This year they hope to have the same success after drafting Boston College kicker Nate Freese in the seventh-round.
Freese connected on all 20 of his field goal attempts last year and ended 70-for-81 (86.4%) over the course of his career.
Chances of making final roster: 85% (starting kicker)
Normally when a team drafts a kicker, you’d expect them to have a guaranteed spot for him on the roster, otherwise, why draft him?
That doesn’t seem to be the case for Giorgio Tavecchio who has already impressed during OTAs.
Still, Tavecchio will have to be flawless if he wants to dethrone Freese from the starting kicker position, otherwise it would be as if the Lions wasted a seventh-round pick.
Chances of making final roster: 15% (small chance at winning starting kicker role)