Two teams playing Saturday afternoon started kickers who were selected (or signed) after Justin Rohrwasser.
Rohrwasser, you may recall, was a fifth-round pick of the New England Patriots in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Marshall product did not play in a game during New England’s 7-9 season, which concluded as the Patriots missed the postseason for the first time since 2008.
The Buffalo Bills selected Tyler Bass in the sixth round of the 2020 draft. Bass made all four of his kicks during Saturday’s 27-24 wild-card round victory over the Indianapolis Colts, including a 54-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
The Colts signed their kicker, Rodrigo Blankenship, as an undrafted free agent. The Georgia product had a crucial miss against the Bills, a 33-yarder that could have, in hindsight, sent Saturday’s game to overtime. Blankenship made a 30-yard field goal that gave Indianapolis an early 3-0 lead and converted his lone extra point.
Both kickers, though, were infinitely more productive than Rohrwasser during the 2020 season. After all, Rohrwasser spent the entire season on the practice squad after getting beat out for the Patriots’ starting job following a rough summer.
Bass made 82.4% of field goals (28 of 34) and 96.6% of his extra points (57 of 59). He was a perfect 10-for-10 on kicks less than 30 yards, 6-for-9 on kicks between 30 and 39 yards, 8-for-9 on kicks between 40 and 49 yards and 4-for-6 on kicks of 50-plus yards.
Blankenship made 86.5% of field goals (32 of 37) and 95.6% of his extra points (43 of 45). He was a perfect 10-for-10 on kicks between 20 and 29 yards, 12-for-13 on kicks between 30 and 39 yards, 9-for-11 on kicks between 40 and 49 yards and 1-for-3 on kicks of 50-plus yards.
Of course, that’s not to say the Patriots were ineffective at the position this year. Veteran kicker Nick Folk made a career-best 92.9% of his field goals (26 of 28) and connected on 90.9% of his extra points (30 of 33).
Folk, however, is a free agent this offseason. The only kickers the Patriots have under contract for 2021 are Rohrwasser and Roberto Aguayo, who has not appeared in a regular-season game since 2016.