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Drafting the Devils 2017: Reasons why every NFL team should draft ASU kicker Zane Gonzalez

Yes, even your favorite NFL team could use a bit of Legatron.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve nearly reached one of the most highly-anticipated events of the NFL offseason — the NFL Draft.

While the Arizona State Sun Devils didn’t produce any players being considered as first-round talents this year, they did deliver the player considered to be this class’s best kicker in Zane Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, the highest-scoring kicker in NCAA history, has been regarded by scouts as being one of the most polished placekicking prospects in recent memory. As Pro Football Focus’s Gordon McGuinness told House of Sparky, Gonzalez has the potential to be a “great” kicker in the NFL.

Though Roberto Aguayo’s rough rookie season with Tampa Bay may spurn teams from trading up to pick Gonzalez, there’s still reason to believe he’ll be the first kicker taken off the board this year. With that day here, we present a case(s) for why all 32 pro teams should select the former Sun Devil, using our own reasoning, as well as suggestions from those who submitted responses via Facebook and Twitter.

Arizona Cardinals

Projected starter: Phil Dawson
Last season: 18-of-21 FGs

Your Reasons:

  • “With all of the problems that the Cardinals had on special teams last year, it would be great to have them draft a consistent kicker like Zane.” - Chris Votroubek via Facebook
  • “Cardinals, one because it's easier to kick in the heat...and AZ is hot,2 because he stays in AZ, 3 because they need a kicker and he can kick no doubt! #CardsPickZane” - Hannah Ortega via Facebook
  • “Cardinals because they need a reliable kicker” - Mark Ofenloch via Facebook

Atlanta Falcons

Projected starter: Matt Bryant
Last season: 21-of-28 FGs

Our Reason: Matt Bryant will turn 42 years old next month. Eventually youth trumps experience, right?

Baltimore Ravens

Projected starter: Justin Tucker
Last season: 38-of-39 FGs

Our Reason: You know what’s better than one Justin Tucker? Two. (Or even a younger one.)

Buffalo Bills

Projected starter: Steven Hauschka
Last season: 33-of-37 FGs

Our Reason: Fans won’t have to concern themselves with misspelling Hauschka’s name anymore if Buffalo adds Gonzalez. And by name, we don’t mean the surname name bearing the unique “s-c-h-k-a” combination, we mean naming him Steven, when it’s actually...

Carolina Panthers

Projected starter: Graham Gano
Last season: 30-of-38 FGs

Our Reason: Gano missed three clutch, long-range field goal attempts down the stretch for the Panthers last season. Gonzalez is a marksman from deep, who is in fact, clutch.

Chicago Bears

Projected starter: Connor Barth
Last season: 18-of-23 FGs

Your Responses:

  • “Da bears” - Ben Brush via Facebook

Cincinnati Bengals

Projected starter: Randy Bullock
Last season: 0-of-0 FGs

Our Reason: Go with the young kicker who actually attempted a field goal last year.

Cleveland Browns

Projected starter: Cody Parkey
Last season: 20-of-25 FGs

Our Reason: They signed a kicker out of the Canadian Football League to potentially start over Parkey... So...Yeah.

Dallas Cowboys

Projected starter: Dan Bailey
Last season: 27-of-32 FGs

Our Reason: Drafting Gonzalez will allow Bailey, a former individual state champion golfer, more time to hit the course.

Denver Broncos

Projected starter: Brandon McManus
Last season: 29-of-34 FGs

Your Reason:

  • “Denver-it would be awesome to watch him kick the ball at mile high! ” - Mark Melton via Facebook

(Yes. Yes, it would be.)

Detroit Lions

Projected starter: Matt Prater
Last season: 31-of-36 FGs

Our Reason: Look, even the Broncos had to reach for reasons to let go of Prater. Maybe he’s too perfect? Is that a thing?

Green Bay Packers

Projected starter: Mason Crosby
Last season: 26-of-30 FGs

Our Reason: Sure, Crosby is one of the most clutch kickers in the league, but it’s not always pretty.

Get yourself a Gonzalez, and you’ll never have any doubt about it.

Houston Texans

Projected starter: Nick Novak
Last season: 35-of-41 FGs

Our Reason: Novak re-signed with the Texans this offseason, and congrats, Nick, but that’s a shame, because Gonzalez could’ve played for a team located just over 25 minutes away from his hometown.

Indianapolis Colts

Projected starter: Adam Vinatieri
Last season: 27-of-31 FGs

Our Reason: Idea: Replace one of the greatest kickers in league history with one of the greatest kickers in college football history.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Projected starter: Jason Myers
Last season: 27-of-34 FGs

Our Reason: Gonzalez won’t get called for a delay of game penalty on a kickoff, so...

Kansas City Chiefs

Projected starter: Cairo Santos
Last season: 31-of-35 FGs

Our Reason: Gonzalez knows who he is. Santos once thought he was a basketball player. Avoid the offseason injury risk.

Los Angeles Chargers

Projected starter: Josh Lambo
Last season: 26-of-32 FGs

Your Reasons:

(This is what he’s talking about.)

  • “Chargers! We definitely need Zane!” - Martin A. Sanchez via Facebook

Los Angeles Rams

Projected starter: Greg Zuerlein
Last season: 19-of-22 FGs

Our Reason: Think about it — The iPhone 7 is better than the iPhone 3. A Playstation 4 is better than a Playstation 2. This is natural. Legatron 2 > Legatron.

Miami Dolphins

Projected starter: Andrew Franks
Last season: 16-of-21 FGs

Our Reason: Drafting Gonzalez means Franks can go back to focusing on his biomedical engineering career.

Minnesota Vikings

Projected starter: Kai Forbath
Last season: 15-of-15 FGs

Our Reason: Forbath had a very good year last season, but Vikings fans can really get a fresh start after Blair Walsh’s excruciating miss in the playoffs by drafting a brand-new kicker.

New England Patriots

Projected starter: Stephen Gostowski
Last season: 27-of-32 FGs

Your Reasons:

  • “Patriots may draft him. Gostkowski hasn't been super reliable since the afc championship loss to the broncos in 2016” - Cal Beneze via Facebook

New Orleans Saints

Projected starter: Wil Lutz
Last season: 28-of-34 FGs

Our Reason: You won’t ever have to drug test Gonzalez for hitting a 52-yarder. That’s just another day at the office.

New York Giants

Projected starter: Aldrick Rosas
Last season: 0-for-0 FGs

Our Reason: ...Who?

New York Jets

Projected starter: Nick Folk
Last season: 27-of-31 FGs

Your Reasons:

  • “The Jets could use a good kicker and they need help in a ton of different position” - Hank Greenberg via Facebook

Oakland Raiders

Projected starter: Sebastian Janikowski
Last season: 29-of-35 FGs

Your Reasons:

  • “Raiders! Janikowski would be an amazing mentor for him!” - Maggie Duffy via Facebook
  • “The Oakland Raiders! They need a NON-break ” - Geoffrey E. Stein via Facebook

Philadelphia Eagles

Projected starter: Caleb Sturgis
Last season: 35-of-41 FGs

Our Reason: Okay, maybe we’re rooting for Sturgis to keep his job after reading this.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Projected starter: Chris Boswell
Last season: 21-of-25 FGs

Our Reason: Gonzalez will probably never hit an onside kick this poorly.

San Francisco 49ers

Projected starter: Robbie Gould
Last season: 10-of-10 FGs

Our Reason: Get yourself a kicker who knows how to spike things with authority.

Seattle Seahawks

Projected starter: Blair Walsh
Last season: 12-of-16 FGs

Your Reasons:

  • “Seahawks! :)” - Darnell Calhoun via Facebook

Our Reason: Welp.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projected starter: Roberto Aguayo
Last season: 22-of-31 FGs

Our Reason: If Aguayo is worth trading up for, then Gonzalez is, too. The ASU product hasn’t needed to overcome the yips yet.

Tennessee Titans

Projected starter: Ryan Succop
Last season: 22-of-24 FGs

Our Reason: Drafting Gonzalez gives the Titans an option for when Mr. Irrelevant fatefully becomes irrelevant again.


Projected starter: Dustin Hopkins
Last season: 34-of-42 FGs

Our Reason: No one has had to ask Gonzalez this in a German accent yet.