Michigan’s Jake Moody hopes to kick way to NFL draft

West kicker Jake Moody of Michigan, center, celebrates after making a field goal against East during the second half of the East-West Shrine Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

West kicker Jake Moody of Michigan, center, celebrates after making a field goal against East during the second half of the East-West Shrine Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Here’s the 10th story in our position-by-position NFL draft series. Today, we’ll look at special teams.

Michigan’s Jake Moody believes that he’s done enough to get drafted.

Moody is one of the kickers who has a shot to be selected in the NFL draft, which is set for April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Last year, only two punters were drafted, San Diego State’s Matt Araiza in the sixth round (180th overall) by the Bills and N.C. State’s Trenton Gill in the seventh round (255th) by the Bears.

Araiza was released after allegations of a gang rape surfaced, and Gill went on to play in all 17 games for the Bears.

In 2021, Florida kicker Evan McPherson was selected in the fifth round (149th overall) by the Bengals and helped them reach the Super Bowl. Also, Georgia Tech punter Pressley Harvin III was drafted in the seventh round (254th) by the Steelers.

In 2020, three kickers – including Georgia Southern’s Tyler Bass and Miami of Ohio’s Sam Sloman (Pace Academy) – and two punters were drafted.

Moody kicked for the Wolverines for five seasons and played in 41 games. He made all 148 point-after attempts (100%) and 69 of 84 (82.7%) of his field-goal attempts. He finished with 355 points and with three tackles showed that he can mix it up.

Moody, who was invited to the NFL scouting combine, made four field goals in the East-West Shrine Bowl game in Las Vegas, including two 51-yarders.

“That was probably as good as it gets,” Moody said of his Shrine Bowl performance. “I was kind of freaking out at first because we weren’t going to do PATs in the game. And I figured it was going to be five touchdowns, I wouldn’t get any field goals, I wouldn’t see the field.”

The game turned in a defensive-dominated affair.

“Thankfully, I got a lot of opportunities to kind of showcase what I could do in my last college game,” Moody said. “If you want to call it that. I was just very happy it worked out the way it did.”

Moody worked with the Patriots coaching staff at the all-star game. The Falcons were coaching the East team.

“They kind of treated us as if we were there guys already, which I really appreciated,” Moody said. “They gave us lots of attention and lots of good coaching during the week. It’d be pretty good to work with them again.”

Moody doesn’t try too much to change his mental approach to kicking.

“I realize we’re not going to make every single kick,” Moody said. “That’s how it is, how it goes. I think when you start trying to change too much is when you can find yourself in some trouble. I just revert back to my old ways and go back to what I’ve been doing because 90% of the time it’s been successful.”

If Moody makes it to the NFL, he doesn’t plan to leave anytime soon.

“My goals right now obviously are just to get on a team and be able to compete for a job,” Moody said. “Long-term goals, I’d like to play in the league for 20 years if I can. Kickers have longevity, more so than other positions. That’s my goal, to potentially play in the NFL for 20 years.”

Auburn’s Anders Carlson, N.C. State’s Chris Dunn, Maryland’s Chris Ryland, Clemson’s B.T. Potter and Georgia’s Jack Podlesny participated in the combine. Five punters and one long snapper were invited.

Carlson is the younger brother of Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson.

“It went well,” Carlson said after his Pro Day on March 21. “Kickoffs and field goals both went well. I was hitting the ball the way I wanted to. I had a great day. Next level, I’ve got some workouts to do as well. I’m staying focused on those as well. We’ll see what happens.”

Carlson finished his career with 410 points and 79 field goals.

Michigan State’s Bryce Barringer is considered the top punter in the draft.


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