Earlier this season, the New Orleans Saints made the decision to trade long-time kicker Wil Lutz to the Denver Broncos and give UDFA rookie Blake Grupe the starting job. This seemed to be the right decision as Grupe nailed the first 5 field goals of his NFL career.
After that, things started to tumble. Grupe missed a 46-yard game-tying field goal against the Green Bay Packers. Things immediately turned around for the Notre Dame product as he nailed his next 5 field goals, including 2 that were over 50 yards resulting in Grupe being named the NFC Special Teams Player for Week 5. However, things started to tumble again as Grupe went 2 of 4 against the Houston Texans, one of which included a 29-yard miss. On Thursday night against the Jaguars, Grupe missed another field goal, but he was able to bounce back, nailing his next 3 kicks.
However, in my opinion, it is starting to look like Grupe is lacking some confidence. He is now 5 for 8 in the last two games. Is it possible that Grupe is having some difficulty overcoming the mental fortitudes that come with kicking in the NFL? The Saints have not given any indication that they are looking to bring in other kickers, but should they make that decision, here are 3 that could be a possibility.
Gould is probably one of the more notable kickers of the 2010s. He’s a seasoned vet who has a ton of experience kicking in high-pressure situations. He might be on the older side, but Gould has still got it. From the 2020 to 2022 season, he’s 25 of 29 and has nailed 7 of his 10 fifty-yard attempts. Gould could provide some short-term stability in the kicker room and serve as a mentor to Grupe on the practice squad.
The 27-year-old kicker has bounced around a lot but has provided solid numbers when he’s called upon. Wright is 40 of 46 in his career, giving him an outstanding 87% on his attempts. He’s also 6 of 8 on fifty-yard attempts.
It’s probably the biggest wildcard option out of the three. He has the least amount of experience out of the three. However, he’s been good when called upon. He’s 11 of 12 in his career. This would probably be my least favorite option, but adding some competition for Grupe may not be a bad idea.
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