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Combine Preview: Specialists

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Our final preview of the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine takes a look at the kickers and punters in Indianapolis.

NCAA Football: Utah at UCLA Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Remember that time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Roberto Aguayo in the second-round?

….ok, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get back to business.

The Buccaneers need a long-term answer at kicker, but might settle for a short-term one for now - Matt Bryant.

Adding to the special teams focus of the team this off-season is punter Bryan Anger who is about to get $3M unless he’s released by the team, and it could certainly happen.

So, any of these young guys would jump at the chance to be the future for Tampa Bay at either position. Oh, and there’s a long snapper.

2019 COMBINE SPECIALISTS

NAME SCHOOL
NAME SCHOOL
MATT GAY (K) UTAH
AUSTIN SEIBERT (K) OKLAHOMA
COLE TRACY (K) LSU
DAN GODSIL (LS) INDIANA
JAKE BAILEY (P) STANFORD
JACK FOX (P) RICE
MITCH WISHNOWSKY (P) UTAH

BEST IN CLASS: MATT GAY, UTAH

Has leg strength and experience in kickoffs, field goals and as a punter.

Scored on over 70% of his tries from 50-yards or more and made all but one field goal attempt under 40-yards.

MOST TO PROVE: MATT GAY, UTAH

Mess with the mechanics of something and you mess with the production of it. As Lance Zierlein pointed out in his profile of Gay, he’s got an awkward and slow approach to the ball as he attempts his field goals.

This resulted in multiple blocked kicks, and will do the same at the NFL level. This means, Gay is going to have to change his approach. Hopefully he’s already working on it. And if he has been, he’ll need to show teams he can get from snap to kick much better than he did at Utah while keeping accuracy degradation to a minimum.

MOST LIKELY BUCS DRAFT PICK: JAKE BAILEY, PUNTER

NCAA Football: Stanford at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

With head coach Bruce Arians there’s a good-to-great chance that every drive crossing the 50-yard line will result in either a field goal try or a fourth-down conversion attempts.

So, Bailey’s struggles as a pooch kicker shouldn’t play too much into his early years as an NFL punter.

What the Bucs will like is his ability to boom the ball and pin defenses deep into their own territory when punting from negative field position.

As a late round pick or even a priority free-agent, he’ll cost much less than Anger, and already has the tools necessary to give the Buccaneers what they’re looking for in a punter for 2019 and beyond.