Aguayo’s importance evident as Gano misses game winning kick



As Graham Gano’s 50-yard field goal attempt sailed outside the cross bars and gave the Broncos a win on Thursday night, this was evidence of the importance of Roberto Aguayo’s selection in the second round of this year’s draft.

Tampa took criticism for the selection as a kicker had not been taken that high in the draft since 2005. Pro Football Focus graded the draft pick with a D-, and both Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports gave the draft pick an F. The consensus is that a kicker should not be taken that high and the second round should be reserved for skill players that can have a bigger impact on the game.

Tampa last year had to jettison Kyle Brindza after he struggled through the first four games last year. While his replacement Connor Barth was more effective a longer term solution was required, bring in Aguayo. The rookie from Florida State is the most effective kicker in the history of college football as 267 of 276 kicks were good including all PAT attempts.

During last year’s inauguration of the new and longer 32-yard PAT, there were 71 missed attempts overall in the league compared to 8 in 2014. With this in effect, it makes having a competent and effective kicker necessary and this is why General Manager Jason Licht made the choice to draft Aguayo.

There will come a moment this year, maybe even this Sunday, where Aguayo will face the pressure and have to make a kick that will either give the Bucs a win or a loss. This moment may define whether Licht is a genius or a goat and if the Bucs can improve on their win total from last year. The pressure and spotlight will be on Aguayo this year and years to come as his draft selection was one considered foolish and only the kicker can prove the doubters wrong on the field and in the win column.