Lions add kicker Nate Freese with last pick

Posted May 10, 2014

The Lions picked Nate Freese with their final selection (229 overall in seventh round) in the draft

Detroit Lions special teams coordinator Jon Bonamego has said his No. 1 priority this offseason is to find a kicker.

“From a scouting standpoint, it’s our top priority in my department,” he said at a town hall meeting at Ford Field last month.

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

Bonamego was referring to John Potter and Giorgio Tavecchio, who are on the roster, but we can now throw Nate Freese into that mix.

The Lions picked Freese with their final selection (229 overall in seventh round) in the draft. He’s the first place kicker the Lions have drafted since Jason Hanson in 1992 (second round).

Freese was the nation's top field-goal kicker last year after making all 20 of his attempts, including six from 40-plus yards and two from beyond 50 yards.

“I was talking with coach about that today, actually, and I can’t really remember,” Freese told during a pre-draft visit when asked about his last miss. “I think it may have been Wake Forest my junior year.”

Freese connected on 18 of 20 attempts as a junior and finished his career 70 of 81 (86.4 percent) in 50 games. He holds the school record for field goals and points (324).