Detroit Lions Reload: Michael Badgley Secured, But Kicker Competition Looms Large

Detroit Lions Reload: Michael Badgley Secured, But Kicker Competition Looms Large

The Detroit Lions re-signed Michael Badgley at the kicker position heading into the 2024 season, but are expected to add competition.

Ranking kickers Detroit Lions could target in 2024 NFL Draft - Sports  Illustrated Detroit Lions News, Analysis and More

Badgley has kicked for the organization each of the last two years, albeit only at the end of the 2023 campaign. He was on the team’s practice squad early in the season, but eventually earned the job in a lengthy competition against Riley Patterson.

General manager Brad Holmes has stated that the team will likely bring in another player to compete for the job. The organization did the same in training camp in 2023, as Badgley and Patterson competed for the role with John Parker Romo.

Detroit could target a kicker in this year’s Draft, as there are several intriguing options set to be available. The Lions haven’t drafted a kicker since selecting Nate Freese in 2014.

However, several prospects in this year’s Draft had solid college careers and could be worthy of a selection in the later rounds.

Here are five kickers the Lions could consider drafting in April’s Draft.

5. Alex McNulty, Buffalo

McNulty had a strong career at Buffalo, which spanned six seasons thanks to a redshirt and the extra year granted as a result of the pandemic. He hit several big kicks in his career, including a UB record 55-yarder to beat the buzzer against Northern Illinois in 2021.

McNulty’s percentage isn’t as consistent as others on this list, but he certainly has a big leg as evidenced by a plethora of makes from beyond 50 yards. Though he only made 68.2 percent of his kicks, he hit at least two from 50-plus in each of the last three seasons.

4. Cam Little, Arkansas

Little elected to leave college a year early after producing a solid career for the Razorbacks. He hit over 80 percent of his kicks with a long of 56 in his final campaign.

He finished his career with seven made field goals over 50 yards, showing a consistency to hit from long range. Little also was a freshman All-American and missed just nine kicks over three seasons.

3. Harrison Mevis, Missouri

Mevis has hit several clutch kicks in his career, including a 61-yard game-winner against Kansas State in 2023. That was a career-best for him and set the SEC record for longest field goal.

Missouri’s all-time leader in points, Mevis accrued 405 career points and missed just one extra point over four seasons. He was consistent, nailing 86-of-103 field goal attempts.

2. Joshua Karty, Stanford

Karty enjoyed plenty of success at Stanford over the last three seasons. Converting 51-of-60 kicks, he finished his career converting at an 85 percent clip. Of his 23 makes last season, he had 11 from 40-plus yards.

The Stanford product has proven to be reliable in the clutch, and even stretched his range beyond 60 yards with a 61-yard boot in 2022.

Karty had a long of over 50 in each of his three years kicking for the Cardinal. He also missed just one extra point in that span.

1. Will Reichard, Alabama

The consensus top kicking prospect in this year’s Draft is the NCAA’s all-time leader in points. Reichard had a historic career, which saw him convert 84 of his 100 field goal attempts over the last five years.

He also hit 295-of-297 extra point attempts, which allowed him to gather an NCAA record 508 career points. Reichard hit 10 kicks of over 50 yards and was a second-team All-American in 2023.

With a career-long of 52, he’s shown an ability to be consistent from long range. He also finished his career hitting at a 73 percent rate on kicks from 40-plus yards.

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