We can't go a day without Roberto Aguayo talk, it seems. Yesterday, Jameis Winston said that Aguayo would shut up the haters. I'm not sure that's true: most of the hate has nothing to do with Aguayo's quality as a kicker, and everything with where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked him. That criticism is going to stand almost regardless of how well Aguayo will do. But of course, it's not Winston's job to provide a fair evaluation of criticism of his teammates, so whatever.
Today, K.C. Joyner of ESPN named Aguayo as one of five potential Offensive Rookie of the Year candidates. In fact, Joyner thinks Aguayo has the second-best chance of winning that award, which is voted on by media members, behind Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Aguayo was the most accurate kicker in NCAA history. He never missed a field goal inside of 40 yards and made all of his collegiate extra points. Aguayo should easily move the Buccaneers to the league average in this metric, and if he vaults it closer to the 19.0 league-leading STEPA mark posted by New England last season, it could represent a nearly 30-point increase for Tampa Bay.
Okay, this is delusional. It doesn't matter that the Bucs' kicking game was terrible last year, kickers are not winning Offensive Rookie of the Year awards, ever. Some wide receiver will go over 1,000 yards, or a running back will put up 1,200 yards, or a quarterback will throw for 3,500 yards and more touchdowns than interceptions, or an offensive lineman will have a surprisingly good rookie year. It only takes one of those things to automatically disqualify Aguayo from serious consideration for this award.
That doesn't mean Aguayo won't be very valuable for the Bucs. Regardless of his draft position, an accurate kicker who adds value on kickoffs can be worth a couple of points per game, and perhaps more. That's probably not as much as a good receiver, but it's certainly worthy of note and will contribute to wins. But ORoY voters don't care, and the only ones voting for Aguayo will be doing it to be deliberately contrarian.
None of that matters, though. The Bucs didn't draft Aguayo to win popularity awards, they drafted him to help them win games. And he should do that just fine.