Kickers and punters are people too. However, they don’t matter as much as other positions. Nevertheless, teams often use later draft picks to find solutions on special teams when they’re pressed to do so by necessity. Less than a handful of kickers and punters were selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. Yet, these few players should find important roles with their respective teams.
Which kickers and punters were drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft?
Let’s look at the kickers, punters, and special teams players selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. Given that only two kickers and punters were selected, we’ll also talk about the long snappers included in the 2021 NFL Draft class.
Evan McPherson, K, Florida | Round 5, Pick 149 | Cincinnati Bengals
Evan McPherson was a top kicker recruit in high school, and he fulfilled his subsequent expectations throughout his college career. He made 51 of his 60 career field goal attempts and missed just one extra point try over his three years as the starter.
Overall, McPherson made 11 of 15 field goals from over 40 yards. He also connected on 5 of 8 field goals from over 50 yards. With a career-long of 55 yards, McPherson has the leg, and he’s proven to be more consistent than his counterparts. With no strong incumbent in Cincinnati, McPherson can earn a lasting role.
Thomas Fletcher, LS, Alabama | Round 6, Pick 222 | Carolina Panthers
Thomas Fletcher wasn’t able to help the Senior Bowl American Team to a win this past January. He was, however, able to put his talents on display for NFL teams.
It was essential for Fletcher to make an impression on the Carolina Panthers, who coached the American Team. Fletcher ultimately won over the Panthers. As a result, they took him with the 222nd overall pick, and he’s now being tabbed as a potential replacement for 35-year-old veteran J.J. Jansen.
Camaron Cheeseman, LS, Michigan | Round 6, Pick 225 | Washington Football Team
Shortly after the Panthers selected the first long snapper in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Washington Football Team followed up with their own choice in Michigan’s Camaron Cheeseman. After parting ways with Nick Sundberg earlier this offseason, Washington traded a 2022 fifth-round selection for the chance to fill their need at long snapper.
Cheeseman doesn’t have the experience or poise of Sundberg. Yet, his RAS score proves he’s a stellar athlete for the position. Furthermore, because of scarcity, he has some job security as he works to acclimate to the NFL.
Pressley Harvin III, P, Georgia Tech | Round 7, Pick 254 | Pittsburgh Steelers
Pressley Harvin III’s name came out of nowhere at the end of Round 7, but it shouldn’t have. Harvin, a standout punter for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, won the Ray Guy Award in 2020, averaging 48 yards per punt on 45 punts.
Harvin isn’t your traditional punter, as he stands around 5-foot-11, 263 pounds. Still, with a booming leg and impressive hang time, he can challenge Jordan Berry, who’s been the Steelers’ starting punter since 2015.
How many kickers and punters were drafted in 2021?
Only two kickers and punters were selected in the 2021 NFL Draft — one from each position. Some top punters like Max Duffy, James Smith, and Drue Chrisman were considered potential draft prospects. However, they all ended up entering the undrafted pool.
Chrisman signed with the Bengals, while Duffy signed with the Broncos. Both Smith and Ohio State kicker Blake Haubeil signed with the Titans. Among others, Riley Patterson joined the Vikings, and Lou Groza Award winner Jose Borregales signed with Tampa Bay.