Many Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans were incredulous when the team selected Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo with the 59th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Indeed, it is rare for kickers to be drafted so high. Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, NFL teams have only selected 21 kickers within the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. But changes within the game should make fans reconsider their initial misgivings.
With the extra point spot moving back to the 15-yard line in the 2015 NFL season, kickers missed a league-record 71 point-after-touchdown attempts last year.
At Florida State, Aguayo set college football records with 157 points scored, and 94 consecutive made extra point attempts. In 2013, he received the Lou Groza Award, bestowed upon the nation’s best college football kicker.
With the extra point becoming a more changeling feature of NFL football, coaches front office members are placing more emphasis on accurate kicking. Fans who weren’t pleased with the Aguayo acquisition may be grateful if his kicking skills help give the Buccaneers enough victories to reach the playoffs in 2016.