When a team drafts a special teams player it is typically because there is a desperate glaring need at that position that can no longer be ignored or filled via free agency. Kickers and punters are frequently found as un-drafted free agents. In 2007 as the Packers were still trying to recover from the departure of the team’s all-time leading scorer and long-time kicker Ryan Longwell, Green Bay spent their sixth round pick on a kicker out of Colorado that held the NCAA record for the longest field goal.
Mason Crosby is very different than the aforementioned Longwell who was known for his accuracy and ability to make the clutch kick, but what Crosby lacked in accuracy compared to Longwell he made up for with booming leg strength which Longwell lacked. Crosby made an immediate impact in Green Bay when in the closing seconds of his first NFL game he kicked a game-winning 53 yarder which made him the first kicker ever to not only kick a 50+ yard field goal in his debut, but also the only player to kick a game-winning field goal in his debut. Crosby’s performance that week earned him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week and he became the first rookie kicker ever to receive that honor on opening weekend.
Crosby’s struggles of 2012 are well documented as he converted a career low 63.6 percent of his field goal attempts. The rest of Crosby’s career however has been stellar. He has a 78.7 percent field goal percentage in his career and, as 2012 is clearly an outlier. If you consider his numbers without 2012, his field goal percentage is 81.1 percent which would be good for the second best conversion percentage in Packers history behind only Longwell. 2012 included Crosby is still third in Packers history with a 78.7 field goal percentage. While being the third most accurate kicker in Packers history, Crosby is also responsible for the three longest field goals in team history and is second in Packers history in scoring; just 152 points away from passing, you guessed it, Ryan Longwell.