Kicker may be on the Detroit Lions’ draft radar this year, so it’s not a huge surprise to learn they have interest in Jake Moody.
After a turbulent year-plus at kicker, Michael Badgley deserves a lot credit for bringing stability to the spot for the Detroit Lions last season. For that effort, he was re-signed in March. But in a broad sense, the Lions could add competition for Badgley in what’s left of free agency or the draft.
To that latter end, Matt Barrows of The Athletic has reported the Lions are among several teams with interest in Michigan kicker Jake Moody. The Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans are the other teams Barrows mentioned who have interest.
In the last 10 NFL drafts, only 17 kickers have been selected. All but two have gone in the fifth round or later. But Moody is set to buck that latter point of recent history.
Over his career at Michigan, Moody made 82.1 percent of his field goals (69-for-84) and all 148 of his extra points. His career long was 59 yards, with 17 kicks of a least 40 yards out and four from 50-plus, and he made plenty of clutch kicks. In 2021, he won the Lou Groza Award as the top kicker the country.
2023 NFL Draft: Jake Moody and the Detroit Lions might be a match
Moody is widely expected to be a fourth or fifth-round pick, though Barrows did note that high demand may push him into Day 2.
Moody is a Michigan native along with being a University of Michigan alum. Speaking at the NFL Combine, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, he talked about racing out to meet then-Lions’ kicker Matt Prater at a local event when he was weighing a scholarship offer from Michigan.
Oh, and Calvin Johnson was also at said event.
"I went straight for Matt Prater and was only talking to him,” “And it got to the point where Calvin Johnson had to like introduce himself to me because I just wasn’t as interested, I guess, in talking to him.”"
It’s actually a pretty good looking draft class of kickers, and multiple may be drafted. But Moody is atop the list, and the sheer number of teams with some interest in him proves it.
As for the idea of being drafted by the Lions, when he was asked about that at the Combine, Moody gave an expected answer.
"I’d love to play anywhere, but it’d be nice to stay home and play for my team that I grew up rooting for,” he said. “That would be pretty cool.”"
Many Lions fans are fully behind the idea of them drafting Moody, presumably as long as the value is right. Taking him in the second or third round feels aggressive, but it shouldn’t necessarily be ruled out.