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Mike Brown doubts the Bengals will draft a place kicker

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We've floated the idea that the Bengals could draft a place kicker during next month's NFL Draft after allowing long-time kicker Shayne Graham to leave and signing replacement Dave Rayner. After all, why not? Having a competent place kicker that can kick in the clutch goes a long way. Just think of the 2006 and 2009 seasons, in which Graham struggled to convert field goals that could have given the Bengals a playoff berth in 2006 and given the team a chance to make a run against the Jets late in the game.

Guys like the Ohio State's Aaron Pettrey, Alabama's Leigh Tiffin, Michigan State's Brett Swenson and Texas' Hunter Lawrence will be in this year's draft. But the question you could ask, as a counter-argument, is there enough kickers that will be available for the Bengals to sign and use for the long-term after the draft during the undrafted free agent period? Typically, there are. Above are the four highest rated kickers by ESPN and only twice since 2005 have three place kickers been drafted in a single draft.

Year
Round
Name Team
2009
5
David Buehler Cowboys
7
Ryan Succop Chiefs
2008
6
Taylor Mehlhaff Saints
7
Brandon Coutu Seahawks
2007
5
Justin Medlock Chiefs
6
Nick Folk Cowboys
6
Mason Crosby Packers
2006
4
Stephen Gostkowski Patriots
6
Kurt Smith Chargers
2005
2
Mike Nugent Jets
6
Dave Rayner Colts
7
Paul Ernster Broncos

On Monday, Mike Brown put to rest the idea of drafting a place kicker, saying he's comfortable with Dave Rayner without shutting the door on bringing Shayne Graham back.

The guy who paved the way for Lewis’ lone overtime win in five tries, kicker Shayne Graham, a free agent, could return. But Brown also says he’s comfortable with journeyman Dave Rayner kicking and doubts the Bengals will draft one.

“I don’t think (Graham has) gone by the wayside. I don’t know how that will play out,” Brown said. “ There is going to have to be some adjusting done to have that make sense to us. We’ll see if we can get that done.

“Rayner will do all right. He was with us before. We had a chance to look at him then. And Darrin (special teams coach Simmons) will give him an opportunity to work with him on an everyday basis and that will improve him. He’ll be able to hold up. I don’t foreclose doing something else but if we don’t I think we’ll be OK.”