MOBILE—An NFL team looking for a new placekicker not intimidated by longer extra points should consider picking Duke’s Ross Martin in the draft.
This past season wasn’t a great year for NFL kickers.
With a new rule forcing them to kick extra points from 31 yards, NFL placekickers missed 71 point-after touchdowns (PATs), the most since 1977. According to Sports Illustrated, from 2010-14, before implementation of the new rule, kickers missed just 37 PATs. Missed PATs in 2015 led to some kickers getting cut in-season, such as Houston’s Randy Bullock. And New England might have lost the AFC Championship Game due to a missed PAT by Stephen Gostkowski. A missed PAT early in the contest forced a two-point conversion late, and the attempt failed.
Martin (not the actor from Wild Wild West) told Breitbart Sports at the Senior Bowl that the new extra point distance does not pose a problem for him.
“As soon as our college season ended, I’ve been doing tons of PATs from the new NFL PAT [distance], getting real comfortable with that,” Martin said. “I’ve have made that my routine. I like it because I’m a very consistent kicker. A lot of guys who aren’t as consistent, it exposes them.
“There were a lot of missed PATs this year. A lot of kickers lost their job over that. Me, having that consistently repeatable motion, I think that is a feather in my cap and something I can bring to the table.”
Martin helped his draft stock by booming a 60-yard field goal in Wednesday’s practice with myriad NFL general managers, scouts, and coaches looking on.
The Solon, Ohio-native certainly doesn’t lack confidence.
“I think I’ve shown I’m an elite field goal kicker,” Martin said. “Any kick that is asked of me, from close ones, PATs – a lot of PATs were missed this year. Just the consistency from close or far. Hit a 56-yarder (Tuesday), a 60-yarder (Wednesday). We had an opportunity to do some kickoffs, and the ones I hit went out of the end zone. I’m showing coaches I can do it all. I can compete with all the other NFL starting kickers.”
And considering the placekicking revolving door, in part caused by the new extra-point rule, Martin should have no problem landing a job.