Cleveland Browns: Who is Jaden Oberkrom?
By Thomas Moore
The Cleveland Browns signed kicker Jaden Oberkrom on Wednesday, sending out the message they are not happy with kicker Travis Coons.
The Cleveland Browns made what would appear, at first, to be a minor transaction on Wednesday by signing kicker Jaden Oberkrom and subsequently releasing kicker Brad Craddock.
But a closer look at Oberkrom’s work at TCU makes it clear that the Browns are less than enamored with incumbent kicker Travis Coons.
Oberkrom was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Jacksonville Jaguars only to be released on May 13. According to his draft profile at NFL.com:
"Oberkrom kicks with good technique and torque to generate impressive distance from a thin frame. While he has shown that he has enough leg to compete for a job in an NFL camp, it is his improved accuracy that might be the difference-maker."
Oberkrom was the Horned Frogs kicker for four years and showed steady improvement in each of those seasons. After converting just 73.3 percent of his field goal attempts (with a long of 53 yards) as a freshman, he closed out his collegiate career by making 84 percent of his field goals (with a long of 57 yards). He also only missed two extra points in his four years at TCU.
While 84 percent is not the greatest on field goals – Oberkrom would have ranked 24th in the NFL last season with that conversion rate – he does one thing far better than Coons.
More from Dawg Pound Daily
- How the Browns could maximize Nick Chubb in 2023
- Can Deshaun Watson get to Patrick Mahomes level for Cleveland Browns?
- 3 Cleveland Browns who should see an expanded role in 2023 and 1 who should not
- Is Marcus Davenport on the Browns radar in 2023?
- 5 Free agents from Super Bowl LVII Cleveland Browns should target
He makes the long kick.
According to Pro Football Focus, Oberkrom was 100 percent on field goals of 50-plus yards as a senior, and made 87.5 percent of his kicks between 40 and 49 yards, which would have ranked him seventh in the NFL. He also was solid on kickoffs as just a little more than 60 percent of his 94 kickoffs were touchbacks in 2015.
While Coons was perfect on field goals inside the 40 last season and had just a tick higher percentage of touchbacks than Oberkrom, Coons’ lack of leg strength was evident as his longest field goal was from 47 yards. In addition, his four blocked kicks all came on long attempts.
Next: Corey Coleman cannot be a bust in 2016
In other words, the Browns are not exactly looking to replace Matt Bahr here.
There is still a long way to go before the Browns have to worry about being in a situation where they need someone to make a kick when it matters. And while Oberkrom may not turn out to be the answer, it seems pretty clear that the Browns will keep looking for someone who is before settling back in with Coons.