The Packers have had Mason Crosby as their kicker for the past 15 years, and he has been extremely consistent for the most part, with a career FG% of 81 percent. He has only missed 20 PATs out of 753 attempts. However, within the last season, it was pretty noticeable that the offense would either stay on the field or punt instead of giving Crosby an opportunity to kick a field goal. Many believe this is due to his old age and his leg having fallen off, or it’s just how football is being played now, with more teams opting to go for it on fourth down in their opponents’ territory. Regardless, Green Bay still hasn’t re-signed their long-time kicker, so it’s time to look in a new direction for that position.
Looking at the possible replacements for Crosby, there are a lot of solid options to fill the spot. Ramiz Ahmed was signed to the practice squad for the entire 2022 season and shows promise. He has a strong leg, as evidenced by his ability to kick a 61-yard field goal in the USFL during his stint there. He can also run fake kicks, unlike Crosby, having thrown a 14-yard touchdown pass in the USFL. Ahmed was elevated to the game-day squad once in Green Bay but was promptly injured during warm-ups. During his college career, he played 14 games, with a 75% field goal percentage on 20 attempts and an 89% PAT percentage off of 45 attempts. While there is a lot to like about Ahmed, his age of 27 and his injury during warmups raises concerns, especially when compared to our previous kicker, who never missed a game.
Jake Moody is another option, although replacing a 15-year veteran with a rookie out of Michigan is a bold move. However, Moody is a dark horse for the kicker spot. In his last two seasons, consistency was his game. He posted an excellent 87% for field goals with 60 attempts in those two years and failed to miss a single extra point with 116 tries. Expanding the lens for his entire tenure at Michigan, his career field goal percentage was 83%, and he had still not missed a single extra point. Perhaps the most impressive thing to consider is that his leg for a college kicker is elite. He nailed a 59-yarder in the Fiesta Bowl, and in the 2022 season, he attempted seven 50+ yard field goals, making three. Most collegiate kickers never even attempt a kick that long, and some NFL kickers struggle to do so. His gap in competition was shown when compared to Noah Ruggles, who botched a 50-yard field goal. Moody seems like a long-term solution at kicker, and given that no one will throw serious draft capital at a kicker, I hope the Packers use one of their four 7th-round picks in the upcoming draft to pick up Jake Moody or sign him as an UDFA.
The Free Agent Pool
There are other free agent players in the draft that the Packers could consider for the kicker position. Robbie Gould is an older option, but it’s unlikely that he will ever join the Packers, and Randy Bullock is another serviceable player, but both players are getting up there in age. I believe the Packers want someone younger in that position, which is why I think Chase McLaughlin would be the best choice. He’s 26 years old and had a phenomenal year for the Colts. He didn’t miss a single extra point last season, but that isn’t saying much because of how poor the Colts’ offense was. What really impresses me about him is his ability to kick long field goals. He made 9 out of 12 attempts from 50 yards or further last season, which benefits any offense. Having a player like that ensures points on almost every drive that goes into the opposing territory. He was also extremely consistent from inside 50 yards, missing only three kicks out of 24 attempts.
It’s unclear what the Green Bay Packers will do with the kicker position, but signs point to Ramiz Ahmed being the next man up. The Packers signed him to a futures contract right after being eliminated from the playoffs and haven’t made any other moves outside of that. I would prefer to see Moody or McLaughlin in green and gold instead, but it’s not up to me. The Packers seem to like what they have in Ahmed, and I trust their decision-making based on their choice of Crosby. It’s sad to see Crosby go, but I understand why they’re moving on from him. He will always be a Packer legend, and I hope he retires as a Packer at the end of the day.