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Could Lions draft a kicker to compete with Badgley?

INDIANAPOLIS – The Lions recently re-signed veteran kicker Michael Badgley, who took over place-kicking duties from Riley Patterson at the end of the season. Badgley was a perfect 3-for-3 on field goals and 11-for-11 on extra points in the playoffs. One of those was a 54 yarder that was the game winner against the Rams in the Wild Card.

In each of the last three seasons under general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell, there has been competition in camp for the job. This past year, the competition between Badgley and Patterson carried on through the season.

Could the camp competition this year include a rookie?

All four kickers here at the Combine had terrific college careers and all four have big legs.

Stanford's Joshua Karty (6-2, 208) made 91.1 percent of his field goals over the last two seasons and has deep range out to 60 yards.

"I think what sets me apart is the combination of leg strength and consistency and quality of my technique compared to the other guys in the class," Karty said Saturday at the Combine. "I can kick the ball farther and straighter."

Alabama's Will Reichard (6-1, 194) made more than 70 percent of his 50-plus-yard field goals and is the NCAA's all-time career leader in points (547).

Cam Little (6-1, 173) made 83 percent of his field goal attempts at Arkansas and was 64 percent from 50-plus yards, including a 56-yarder.

"Obviously a very talented group here all those other guys are really talented at what they do as well and had good seasons," Little said of this year's kicker class. "I think what separated me is my confidence and ability to come back through adversity.

"I missed a game winner my sophomore year against Texas A&M and went 11-for-12 the rest of that season with two makes from 50-plus, so I think that just shows even if I miss a kick at some point, I'll come back even stronger."

Missouri's Harrison Mevis (6-0, 251) rounds out the kickers invited to this year's Combine. He holds the SEC record for longest field goal made at 61 yards, but he had some inconsistency under 40 yards the last two seasons.

View photos of the defensive backs at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine.

"I set myself apart from just with the kicks I've had from range," Mevis said. "I've had a lot of 40-plus yarders. If you look at my career over half at one point were from 40-plus. At Missouri you see all kinds of weather conditions. We're outside, it's a big bowl ... it swirls differently and there's a lot of wind so I feel like just kicking at Missouri and having those kicks sets me apart."

It's a really productive group of kickers in this class that special teams coordinator Dave Fipp should have fun evaluating. Could this be the first year since 2014 when the Lions selected Nate Freese in the seventh round they decide to use late-draft capital on a kicker?

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