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NFL Draft 2018: Could the Bengals take Daniel Carlson to compete with Randy Bullock?

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Because the Bengals will probably use one of their 11 picks on a kicker, you should get acquainted with Daniel Carlson.

Auburn v Missouri Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

One of the top kickers in the 2018 NFL Draft, Daniel Carlson enters the draft fresh off a stand-out career with the Auburn Tigers.

In his junior season, he made 23 of 24 kicks inside of 50 yards, and nailed four more from 50 yards and beyond. He had his worst statistical season in his senior year, but still made 83 percent of his kicks under 50 yards, and he again connected on four from 50 and farther.

While teams are unlikely to pull an absurd second-round-Roberto-Aguayo type of selection with him, he is arguably the top kicker in the 2018 draft, as well as a big prospect from a big-time program.

Daniel Carlson

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 218 lbs

Position: Kicker

College: Auburn

Projected Round: 5~6 Round

Daniel Carlson

Team GP 0-30 FGM 0-30 FGA 0-39% 40-49 FGM 40-49 FGA 40-49% 50+ FGM 50+ FGA 50+% Lng FGM FGA FG% XP XPA XP%
Team GP 0-30 FGM 0-30 FGA 0-39% 40-49 FGM 40-49 FGA 40-49% 50+ FGM 50+ FGA 50+% Lng FGM FGA FG% XP XPA XP%
Daniel Carlson 13 13 14 93% 4 9 44% 1 1 100% 51 18 24 75% 57 57 100%
Daniel Carlson 13 15 17 88% 4 5 80% 4 5 80% 56 23 27 85% 40 40 100%
Daniel Carlson 13 17 18 94% 7 7 100% 4 7 57% 53 28 32 88% 44 44 100%
Daniel Carlson 14 13 15 87% 6 8 75% 4 8 50% 54 23 31 74% 57 57 100%
Daniel Carlson 53 58 64 91% 21 29 72% 13 21 62% 92 114 81% 198 198 100%

Important Notes:

  • SEC Special Teams Player of the Year and first-team all-conference selection in 2016 and 2017
  • Lou Groza Award finalist the past three seasons
  • Punted in 2014, averaging 42 yards per kick

Scouting Report Consensus - What to like:

  • Only draft-worthy kicker in the 2018 draft class to convert every extra point attempt (198 of 198) in his collegiate career.
  • Made 89.7 percent of his kicks on the road.
  • Generates good distance on kickoffs, with 70 percent of his career kickoffs going for touchbacks.
  • Far surpassed his fellow 2018 draft-worthy kickers, attempting 20 kicks from 50 or more yards over the past three years, making 12 of them.
  • Is the biggest kicker in the draft, measuring 6’4” and 218 lbs.

Scouting Report Consensus - What to not like:

  • Only made 72 percent of his kicks from 40~49 yards in his career (21 of 29)
  • Has not kicked much in cold weather

Conclusion:

Statistically, Carlson comes across as a slightly better version of Jake Elliott, who the Bengals drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, before incomprehensibly cutting at the end of training camp. Both were perfect on extra points, great long-range kickers, and struggled in the 40 to 49 yard range. Although, Carlson had a better touchback rate, and was better inside of 40 yards.

The 2018 draft features a pair of kickers who are certainly draftable before the last round, in Carlson and Florida’s Eddy Pineiro. If the Bengals are serious about challenging and replacing a mediocre veteran kicker with a good, young kicker, Carlson is about as good as they come in the 2017 draft.

Carlson was great inside of 40 yards, great on long kicks, and great on kickoffs. Just like last year, it will likely take a fifth round pick to ensure the Bengals get their kicker of the future if that is something they are interested in doing.