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Falcons’ Younghoe Koo to get kicking competitor

Younghoe Koo  of the Atlanta Falcons kicks a field goal as Ryan Allen  holds in the first half on an NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 8, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Younghoe Koo of the Atlanta Falcons kicks a field goal as Ryan Allen holds in the first half on an NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 8, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Credit: Todd Kirkland

Credit: Todd Kirkland

The Falcons still plan to add a kicker to compete with incumbent kicker Younghoe Koo, coach Dan Quinn said Tuesday.

The Falcons have 89 players on the roster, which leaves an open slot.

“We are still definitely considering adding a kicker into that spot,” Quinn said. “You could imagine that some of those decisions involve workouts and things that aren’t at this space.”

The Falcons passed on drafting a kicker, but did select a punter, Sterling Hofrichter in the seventh round.

New England selected controversial Marshall kicker Justin Rohrwasser in the fifth round, Georgia Southern’s Tyler Bass was selected by Buffalo in the sixth round and Miami (Ohio) kicker Sam Sloman was drafted in the seventh round by the Rams.

Georgia’s Rodrigo Blankenship was signed by Indianapolis as an undrafted rookie free agent. Blankenship and Bass were given 5.9 grades by NFL.com heading into the draft as the highest-rated kickers.

“We were pretty intentional, (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff) and myself, about not adding all the way up to 90 on the day after, so you would have some flexibility if opportunities came up to add some guys post-draft to the team,” Quinn said. “That definitely is still something that we are looking into. That’s why we are keeping that space available. We’ll see what takes place over the next couple of weeks.”

It was a revolving door in the kicking department last season.

The front office handed the kicking job to Giorgio Tavecchio in the offseason instead of bringing in some competition.

When he kept misfiring, the Falcons re-signed Matt Bryant after taking a look at former Georgia kicker Blair Walsh.

Koo was added midseason after Bryant started missing field-goal attempts and a key extra-point attempt at Arizona.

Koo made 23 of 26 field-goal attempts, including a long of 50 yards last season. He made 15 of 16 extra points.

Koo also handled the kickoffs. On his 50 kickoffs, 27 went for touchbacks.

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