3 Kickers the Patriots Should Draft to Compete With Chad Ryland

Chad Ryland's rookie season with the New England Patriots was nothing short of disappointing. That's why the Pats must target these three kickers at the 2024 NFL Draft to compete with Ryland in training camp.
Alabama's Will Reichard is one of three kickers the Patriots should draft to compete with Chad Ryland.
Alabama's Will Reichard is one of three kickers the Patriots should draft to compete with Chad Ryland. / Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
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The New England Patriots have a lot of areas they must address at the 2024 NFL Draft, including their kicking situation.

After Nick Folk handled kicking duties from 2019 to 2022, the Patriots opted to use a 2023 fourth-round selection to draft Chad Ryland out of Maryland. Unfortunately, the Lebanon, PA native couldn't live up to the hype as he finished his rookie year with a putrid 64% field-goal percentage despite nearly going perfect on extra-point attempts (24-for-25, 96%).

Ryland is still young, so there's always the possibility that he could improve this year. At the same time, it'd be wise for the Patriots to bring in another young leg through the draft. That way, it'll force Ryland to step up his game or leave the franchise with a better kicker on the roster.

Keeping that in mind, let's look at three kickers that the Patriots can draft to create a competition with Ryland.

1. Will Reichard, Alabama

If the Patriots want to give Ryland some real competition, they may as well target Alabama kicker Will Reichard.

Reichard, 23, is arguably the greatest kicker in college football history. After all, the Crimson Tide special teamer racked up an NCAA-best 539 points across his five-year stay in Tuscaloosa. He even received multiple accolades, including when he was named the 2023 SEC Special Teams Player of the Year after going a perfect 55-for-55 on extra-point attempts and 22-for-25 (88%) and field-goal tries.

To understand how impressive Reichard's collegiate career was, keep in mind he only missed two extra-point attempts on 297 tries. Although his 84.0 FG% wasn't proved that he isn't perfect, it's still a much better number than what Ryland produced in college (77.3%).

Having a reliable kicker is crucial to finding NFL success, which is why the Patriots must take a swing on Reichard. If he lives up to the hype and becomes one of the league's premier legs, it's not crazy to think that he could one day be mentioned in the same breath as New England kicking legends Adam Vinatieri and Stephen Gostkowski.