Is Stephen Gostkowski the best kicker drafted by the Patriots?

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This is the final installment of the New England Patriots best draft pick ever feature at cover32.com this off-season. If you missed any previous position installments, they can be found here. The series finishes with a look at the special teams performers drafted, particularly the kicker and punter positions.

The New England Patriots have hardly spent a large number of draft picks on the kicking and punting units. The Patriots under head coach Bill Belichick have put an emphasis on special teams and have made a number of draft picks geared specifically for the punting and kicking game.  Such players included 2012 sixth round draft pick Nate Ebner who has been a regular on special teams.  Also, special teams captain Matt Slater in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

As far as punters and kickers, the list is few and far between. Here is the total list courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com (notes are my own).

Year

Rnd

Pick

Name

Pos

To

AP1

PB

St

CarAV

G

College

Notes

1993

5

113

Scott Sisson

K

1996

0

0

2

0

29

Georgia Tech

“Missin’ Sisson”

2006

4

118

Stephen Gostkowski

K

2013

1

2

4

22

120

Memphis

***

1983

6

155

Mike Bass

K

0

0

0

Illinois

Never Played

1984

7

184

Bruce Kallmeyer

K

0

0

0

Kansas

Never Played

1981

8

194

Ken Naber

K

0

0

0

Stanford

Never Played

2001

7

216

Owen Pochman

K

2003

0

0

0

-2

16

BYU

Never Played In New England; Emergency punter for the Giants and one bad season with San Francisco

1982

10

253

Brian Clark

K

1982

0

0

0

0

1

Florida

Never Played

1987

11

302

Carlos Reveiz

K

0

0

0

Tennessee

Never Played

1986

12

332

Don McAulay

K

0

0

0

Syracuse

Never Played

1979

4

106

Eddie Hare

P

1979

0

0

1

1

16

Tulsa

played one year

1994

5

135

Pat O’Neill

P

1995

0

0

2

2

25

Syracuse

Two years in NFL, 1.5 with Patriots

1974

6

141

Chuck Ramsey

P

1984

0

0

8

14

117

Wake Forest

Never Played In New England — entire career with NYJets

2010

5

150

Zoltan Mesko

P

2013

0

0

1

6

62

Michigan

***

1973

12

290

Bruce Barnes

P

1974

0

0

2

2

23

UCLA

1.5 years with the Patriots

1980

11

293

Mike Hubach

P

1981

0

0

1

2

21

Kansas

1.5 years with the Patriots

1991

11

303

Paul Alsbury

P

0

0

0

Texas St.

Never Played

The list tests the memory of even the most fervent Patriots fan. Punter Pat O’Neill and kickers Scott Sisson and Owen Pochman may be remembered briefly.  O’Neill did not last long in New England. Pochman was training camp fodder for kicker Adam Vinatieri and flamed out in his brief NFL career. Sisson was a failure of epic proportions.

In the recent years punter Zoltan Mesko was a shocking pick in 2010. Mesko had three solid seasons in New England before his surprise release at the end of training camp.  For a fifth round draft pick, there was value in getting three solid seasons on special teams from him. Mesko bounced around a bit last year and will be in a fight for a job wherever he lands for training camp.

Stephen Gostkowski was 38 of 41 on field goal attempts last season and continues to bring amazing consistency to a position which seemed ripe for failure after legendary kicker Adam Vinatieri left for Indianapolis in 2006. Instead, Gostkowski has made two Pro Bowls and been a strong but silent cog in the continued success of the Patriots with his accurate kicks and strong kickoffs.

The competition may be thin, but it is easily current kicker Stephen Gostkowski as the best draft pick ever at Kicker/Punter for the New England Patriots.

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