Pro Football Focus keeps on hating on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I kid: PFF has no reason to pick on the Bucs, and I don't know a fanbase in the NFL that loves them. While you can quibble with the accuracy and value of their ratings, they aren't really biased. At most, they're just bad.
So heres today's five minute PFF hate: they think drafting Roberto Aguayo in the second round was the second-worst NFL move this offseason, mostly because they just don't think Aguayo is all that good. Which is basically the opposite of my opinion: I love Aguayo, I just don't think any kicker will ever quite be worth what the Bucs gave up for him.
For a kicker to go that high, a team has to be sure he is an NFL-level kind of special, and Aguayo wasn’t even special at the collegiate level. He finished his college career as the most-accurate kicker of all time, converting 96.73 percent of his attempts (narrowly topping Alex Henery’s 96.67 percent record), but much of that can come down to the attempts he was making. He was just 20-of-29 from 40+ yards, and at no point did he grade well as a kick-off man, ranking no higher than 29th in the nation in average kick distance over the past two seasons.
Aguayo's problems on kickoffs have been vastly overstated. As has been confirmed by both Aguayo and his college coach Jimbo Fisher, he was usually asked to kick the ball high to get maximum hang time and pin back kick returners, rather than kicking as deep as possible. That's a fairly unique skill that could add quite a few points per game and may actually be his best attribute, not his worst.
Of course, his accuracy is a concern. The notion that he hit all the kicks he took from within NFL hashmarks doesn't mean much to me: that cuts down the number of attempts significantly, and while his overall accuracy is impressive, the difference between college and NFL hashmarks is less relevant the farther away you get -- and yet, Aguayo missed more and more the farther back his field goal attempts were. Expecting him to be perfect is ridiculous, anyway: every kicker misses field goals, and so will Aguayo. That doesn't much matter, he just needs to do significantly better than the NFL average. That's certainly what he did in college, so if he can keep that up in the NFL, he should be fine.