There’s been movement in the Cincinnati Bengals’ kicking competition and veteran Randy Bullock has taken a clear lead.
Many gave Bullock no shot to make the Bengals’ 53-man roster after the team drafted Jake Elliott in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. But, Bullock has had a nearly-perfect summer and an actually perfect preseason to date, making the Bengals’ decision at the kicker position an interesting one.
Bullock made 54- and 49-yard field goals in the first preseason game as well as an extra point, while Elliott made a 45-yard field goal and extra point in that game. In Week 2 of the preseason, Bullock made a 47-yard field goal and 26-yard field goal, while Elliott notched a 32-yard field goal and 39-yarder, too.
On Sunday against Washington, a Bengals kicker missed a field goal for the first time this preseason, and unfortunately, it was the rookie who missed a 45-yard attempt. Bullock made a 53-yard field goal and extra point on Sunday, but Elliott only made an extra point in the outing, failing to convert his lone field goal attempt, which went wide right.
Bullock had just one reported miss in all of training camp, while Elliott had a few, including two inside Paul Brown Stadium during the Bengals’ scrimmage on family day. Based on kicks made, Bullock clearly has the edge in the kicking competition.
But, are the Bengals going to want to bail on their rookie kicker so soon? They surely won’t want to admit they made a mistake by making Elliott as the first kicker selected in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Zane Gonzalez, the second kicker selected this year, a pick by the Browns, has made three extra points and a 39-yard field goal this preseason as he competes with Cody Parkey for the kicking job in Cleveland. Parkey has received more opportunities in the preseason as it looks like the Browns may go with him for the 53-man roster.
Elliott has less than a week to somehow prove the Bengals should rely on him throughout his rookie season, and hopefully beyond. As of now, it seems Bullock is the safer move.
The Bengals’ final preseason game is Thursday in Indianapolis against the Colts. Just two days later, the Bengals will make their roster cuts, getting down to 53 men on Saturday, September 2.
Who do you want to be the Bengals’ kicker in 2017?
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