Will there be a competition to be the next Detroit Lions kicker?

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Lions have been very fortunate to have one position be as solid as it has been for them for almost thirty years. That position would be at the kicker position.

Fans have been spoiled with talents like Jason Hanson and Matt Prater over the years. With Prater no longer on the roster, where will the Detroit Lions turn to find a successful leg this season?

Matt Prater has departed after seven successful years as the placekicker in Detroit. Coming off his worst season in a Lions uniform with an average of 75% on field goal attempts, Prater’s career average with the Lions will finish at 84% on field attempts and 96% for his extra point average.

Many games were put on Prater’s leg, and Lions fans trusted their kicker to win the game, and in most cases, he did just that. Now the Lions are left looking for a solid boot to continue the legacy of the team having a solid leg to turn to in times of need.

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Who will be the placekicker for the Detroit Lions in 2021?

Coming into the pre-season, the Lions have two placekickers on the roster. The first is veteran Randy Bullock. Bullock is a nine-year veteran who spent the last five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals.

You might remember week one last season for Cincinnati when Bullock missed a game-tying field goal that many fans assumed was a chip shot from 31 yards out. While that one kick became the internet joke of the week, Bullock has had a stellar career as a kicker in the NFL.

Last season in 12 games with the Bengals, Bullock was 80% on field-goal attempts and an outstanding 96% on extra-point attempts. Bullock will be heading into training camp, the heavy favorite for the position.

The second placekicker on the roster is Matthew Wright. The former Pittsburgh Steeler doesn’t have a lot of experience kicking in the NFL, but with the opportunities he’s been given, Wright has not been disappointed.

In three games of the 2020 season, Wright went a perfect four for four on his field-goal attempts and seven for seven in extra-point attempts. His longest made field goal from last season was from 46 yards out.

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The kicker position isn’t one that Lions fans have had to worry too much about over the years. It will be an interesting competition in training camp between a proven veteran and a player looking for his opportunity. The team will more than likely not keep both players on the roster going into the regular season. It’s a new era for the Lions’ special teams.