DO KICKERS EVER DESERVE TO BE FIRST-ROUND NFL DRAFT PICKS? PT.1
There hasn’t been a kicker chosen in the first round in 20 years, but it has happened. In fantasy football, kickers are a dime a dozen. They usually get drafted in the last round of fantasy football drafts. Some guys won’t waste a draft pick on one and do roto kicker off the waiver wire every week. A YouTube video by KTO was talking about this. I grew up in The Bay Area, so I remember when Al Davis and the Raiders drafted Sebastian Janikowski with the 17th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.
The first NFL draft was in 1936, and for the next 29 years, not a single kicker or punter was drafted in the first 2 rounds. Then, everything changed in 1966 because of a guy named Pete Gogolack. He was a 12th-round pick in the AFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. Back then, everybody kicked straight ahead. He changed the game for kickers with his unique soccer-style kicking. This style was unheard of, but it worked as he was an AFL All-Star in 1965 and 2x AFL Champion in 1964 and 1965. He would leave for the rival N.Y. Giants in 1966. He had a great career with the G-Men and is in their Ring of Honor.
Pete had a younger brother named Charlie, who set 7 NCAA kicking records at Princeton with the same unique soccer kicking style. Due to his brother’s dominance and all the hype he got in college, the Washington Redskins took a chance on him. He was selected in the 1st round 6th overall in the 1966 NFL Draft. He played against his brother in his rookie campaign, and they scored a combined 14 extra points. That’s a record. He had a solid rookie year missed most of his second year, and flamed out in his third year. He was a bust, and Washington cut him. He played three more years for the Patriots. Not worthy of a first-round pick.
In 1973 the Raiders drafted punter Ray Guy from the University of Southern Mississippi. He was drafted in the 1st round with the 23rd overall pick. Punters have no relevance in fantasy football. Ray Guy was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2014 on August 2, 2014. He also has the nation’s best punter award named after him. He was worthy of a first-round pick.
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