1. Austin Seibert, Kicker
The Browns had their share of kicking woes in 2018. Zane Gonzalez lost his job after two weeks of bad misses — which cost them a shot at being 2-0 to start the year. After he was gone, they brought in an undrafted rookie out of Florida Atlantic by the name of Greg Joseph, who wound up going 17-of-20 but missed four extra points and had a knack for making heartbeats skip with narrow makes.
In an effort to shore up their issues in this area, general manager John Dorsey used the fifth-round pick acquired in exchange for Josh Gordon on Oklahoma’s Austin Seibert. While Seibert spent most of his college career kicking extra points, he was very accurate on field goal attempts.
Heading into his rookie campaign, he was expected to continue his solid kicking, especially considering he no longer had to handle the punting duties as he did with the Sooners. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been knocking kicks through very accurately to start his camp. According to Scott Pasko of Cleveland.com, he had a terrible outing on Sunday and is now just 50 percent on his kicks for the week.
"“On Sunday, Seibert was 1-of-4, bringing his camp total to 4-of-8. On Friday, Seibert missed from 41 and bounced one through off the goalpost and through from 48 yards. Seibert’s competition, incumbent Greg Joseph, has yet to miss during field goal sessions, connecting on all eight kicks. His longest on Sunday as from 52 yards.” — Patsko, Cleveland.com"
Freddie Kitchens spoke on the misses and isn’t ready to panic, which is the right approach. Sunday was a bad day for Seibert but what really matters is how he responds. Even the best kickers whiff from time to time but if they can shake off a rough day and come back better the next time, they’re worth keeping around.
Seibert was lauded for his competitive nature while at Oklahoma. The fact that he’s starting out behind Joseph could be a good thing as it could help him dig deep and find a way to be even better than expected.
With that being said, it’s also a great thing to see Joseph handling his duties well. It doesn’t matter which kicker ends up winning the job, as long as the position finally gets solidified.