There are many avenues a team can explore en route to finding a kicker and Bears GM Ryan Pace is ready to travel them all. Pace laid out what he was looking for in the Bears next kicker and leg strength appears to be a focus. Perhaps that powerful leg is one of the draft-eligble kickers the team met while at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Chris Emma of WSCR-AM 670 The Score tweets the Bears have met with Utah’s Matt Gay, Oklahoma’s Austin Seibert, and LSU’s Cole Tracy, who happen to be the three place-kickers at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Emma highlights Gay and Tracy as the two who “will be watching closely in the draft.”
WalterFootball.com lists Tracy as the site’s top kicking prospect with Gay checking in at No. 3. Both are projected to be selected in Rounds 5-7, which could be where the Bears snag the kicking prospect of their choice if their needs at other positions are filled and a kicker happens to be the best player on their draft board. Seibert is No. 4 on the list and could be picked in Round 7, but could slip out of the draft entirely.
It wouldn’t do it justice to simply state that drafting a kicker is a roll-of-the-dice because the risks are real, but the payoff could be the peace of mind that comes with having a young, reliable kicker who can put an end to the revolving door of disappointment that has been spinning since Robbie Gould was cut in 2016. Should the Bears not use one of their five draft picks on a kicker, the team will be left to explore the crop of undrafted free agents when the draft ends. All things considered, that wouldn’t be the worst idea.
Now that Cody Parkey is out of the picture, the Bears’ search for a new kicker is officially underway. Linking up with the three best draft-eligible prospects is a good way to kick things off, but surely more is coming down the pipeline.