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The Buccaneers should not draft Roberto Aguayo (before the sixth round)

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

A certain contingent of Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been lobbying, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, for the Bucs to draft Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo. The lobbying's now reaching the national level: In his seven-round mock draft, which interestingly does not have the Bucs picking an edge rusher until the fifth round, CBS Sports' Dane Brugler has the Bucs picking Aguayo in the third round. At least it's not the second round, I guess.

Now, I understand that Aguayo is, like, a very good kicker. But kickers drafted before the fifth round generally do not work out. We only need to look at the Bucs' own history to see that: they drafted Martin Gramatica in the third round of the 1999 NFL draft, and got all of four years of good play out of him before his accuracy collapsed. Gramatica was certainly a solid kicker, but he only made one Pro Bowl, ranked 19th in field goal accuracy over that period and was cut during his fifth season. That's the kind of performance you'd expect to find with a street free agent kicker, not a third-round draft pick.

Gramatica's career progression is fairly typical for drafted kickers. Since Gramatica, only four kickers drafted before the sixth round have been long-term stalwarts for the teams that drafted them. Sebastian Janikowski was drafted in the first round (!) by the Raiders in 2000 and is still playing for them, albeit as a mostly league-average kicker. Josh Scobee was a fifth-round pick for the Jaguars in 2004 and was a solid but not special kicker for them until 2015. Nate Kaeding is an interesting example, as the third-round pick did very well in the regular season for eight years, but consistently flubbed in the playoffs, making just eight of 15 in the postseason. Stephen Gostkowski, a fourth-round pick for the Patriots in 2006, is the only kicker drafted before the sixth round who has actually been consistently among the top NFL kickers, and a long-term contributor.

The other eight kickers drafted before the sixth round since Gramatica have not made it past four years on their drated teams' rosters, and five of them never even made it to fifty field goal attempts.

Simply put: historically, even highly-drafted kickers haven't been significantly better than just bringing a few street or undrafted free agents into camp and keeping the best one. So the Bucs should just do that. Have Patrick Murray and Connor Barth and maybe some undrafted free agent kick it out, and keep whoever's best. And spend that third-round pick on someone who has a chance to, say, be an impact pass rusher. I hear the Bucs need those.