LIONS INSIDER

John Bonamego makes finding a kicker the top special teams priority

Posted Apr 15, 2014

The Lions currently have two kickers on their roster, but special teams coordinator John Bonamego told season-ticket holders at a town hall meeting Monday night that the position is still far from settled.

The Detroit Lions currently have two kickers on their roster in John Potter and Giorgio Tavecchio, but special teams coordinator John Bonamego told season-ticket holders at a town hall meeting Monday night that the position is still far from settled.

Giorgio TavecchioK Giorgio Tavecchio (Photo: AP Images)

“The No. 1 thing we need to do is find a kicker,” Bonamego said. “From a scouting standpoint, it’s our top priority in my department.

“We have two guys on the roster right now that both have some experience. We’ll evaluate those guys in this upcoming period and we’ll compare them to the guys that are coming up in the draft, the draft-eligible guys, and we’ll find one.”

Potter is the only one currently on the roster with regular-season game experience. He played in six games as a kickoff specialist for Buffalo in 2012. He was the primary field-goal kicker in three games with Washington last year (including a Week 3 matchup with Detroit) and converted on three of four attempts, with a long of 43 yards.

Tavecchio was in training camp with Green Bay last year and pushed Mason Crosby to the very end for his roster spot.

But even with Potter and Tavecchio in tow, the Lions have not ruled out drafting a kicker in next month’s NFL Draft.

The team spent a fifth-round pick on punter Sam Martin last year and he’s turned into one of the best young punters in the NFL.

Can the Lions strike gold with a specialist two years in a row?

Chris Boswell (Rice), Anthony Fera (Texas), Nate Freese (Boston College), Cairo Santos (Tulane) and Jeff Budzien (Northwestern) are just a few of the players who could be available late in the draft or signed immediately after.

However the Lions decide to go, it appears they'll have a young kicker for the first time since Jason Hanson entered the league in the early 1990s.