Coach Farley got signed by the Green Bay Packers in 1985. He was a D3 athlete who got cut by the Packers, Viking and Giants.  Not much of an NFL career, right?

“Good enough to get there, just not good enough to stay there.”


Are you like any of these guys?

What do the stats say, and what are the stats that matter, anyway?

Below, you will see a clickable statsheet of every kickers stats for field goals, kickoffs and every punter, as well. I wanted to take a deeper dive into just how good all of these guys are, but what separates the very best from the rest. What you’ll find is that “one size does NOT fit all” and that the mental toughness and desire to consistently perfect their skills keeps the veterans a real asset to their teams.


There were 39 different players who recorded a punt in 2023. But in truth, it was 37 punters and 2 kickers (who had to fill in for a game due to injury. That means that coaches were reluctant to make any changes to their punting unit, unless there was an injury or a performance breakdown. That’s great if you’re a punter who makes the season roster — 26 punters played in all 17 regular season games for their teams.

All punters played for NCAA D1 FBS schools, except for three, Dan Whelan and Jamie Gilan played at FCS D1 schools and Ethan Evans played NCAA D2 (Wingate). There were D3 punters signed to NFL contracts, but none made the starting roster.

Most statisticians and fans, focus on a punters average, but that really doesn’t tell the whole story. It may prove that you have a cannon, but in the NFL, they all have a cannon. Ryan Stonehouse from the Tennessee Titans sure does averaging 53.1 yards per punt… incredible.  However, his NET AVERAGE (minus the run back or touchback) was 44.7 yards. Still a great number (3rd in the league)… however the league leader in net average was perennial Pro Bowl punter A.J. Cole who averaged 45.1 yards for the Raiders.

In my mind, this is the most important punting stat. As a coach, you need your punter to be a field position specialist. This is true in the NFL, the NCAA, as well as in high school and even youth football.

For high schoolers, coaches want a 30 yard net, but would love 35.
For college punters, they’d accept a 35 yard net, wanting 40.
For the pros, they’re looking for 45 yard net, but will accept 40 yards.

The second stat of significance are “Inside the 20 kicks”. This stat gets buried far too ofter, but what you can see here is that Bryce Baringer (Patriots) lead the league with 38. Teams whose offenses often falter around midfield need great punters to “give up their stats” for the sake of the team. 38 times he pinned their opponents down instead of creating a touchback (losing 20 yards of field position in the game). The league leader in touchbacks (a negative stat), was Ryan Stonehouse with 10. — who was NOT selected as the Pro Bowl punter (Bryan Anger and A.J. Cole were).

BTW, only 3 NFL punters are under 6’0 in height… 17 are 6’3 to 6’5. Curiously enough, the shortest punter in the league is Stonehouse at 5’10.


There were 42 different players who recorded a field goal attempt in 2023 — with 2 kicks from a punter and a running back. That’s 40 kickers for 32 jobs in the world… that’s a very tough gig to get!

Head coaches are desperate to find a placekicker they can trust. 25 kickers played in all 17 regular season games for their teams. That leaves 7 teams who, either through injury or lack of confidence who had to bring in subs to finish their rosters. All kickers played for NCAA D1 FBS school, except for one, Greg Zuerlein who went to Missouri Western University (a D2 school). There are about 50 D2 players in the NFL and just 6 D3, with no D3 kickers.

The key stat above all others for kickers to simply make field goals. Your range is less important. The coach simply needs to know what your effective range is (see K-Zone)… and then what your max range could be.

NFL kickers are machines. The league average is is an incredible 85.94% (911-1060). PATs (remember, a 33 yard kick) is 94.08% (732-778). Hall of Fame kicker Jan Stenerud once told me, “I’m 3 misses away from being cut.” I didn’t believe him at the time, but now, I’m not so sure — even the best kicker in the league has very little cushion to go into a slump. How many missed field goals from Justin Tucker would it take to bring in someone else? Every team knows that there are really good kickers eager for their opportunity.

In case you were wondering, most NFL kickers are right around 6’0 tall… Justin Tucker is 6’1. The Carlson brothers are tallest at 6’5, while the shortest kicker is Blake Grupe (Bengals) at just 5’7. 


There were 59 different players who kicked off in 2023 — 37 kickers, 19 punters and 3 position players. Here’s where punters can gain even more safety to remain with a team because they can develop into kickoff touchback specialists. It’s also where some kickers lose favor with their coaches, despite their great placekicking ablity, because they can’t kick a big ball. In the NFL, you just don’t want any part of your game to be weak. However, for kickers, if you can’t hit it far, you BETTER BE ACCURATE. 

I lost the job to a guy named Al Del Greco. Al could barely make a 50 yard field goal, while I could connect from 60+. Yet it was Al who not only won the job, but played 17 years in the NFL, due to his ability to make clutch kicks!

Leading the league in in this stat is largely dependent on a team that scores a lot of point. Brandon Aubray was a 28 year-old rookie (did you catch that?) who got lots of chances to kick off… and promptly put over 90.8% of them not just into the end zone, but deep enough for returners to stay put — also a top the NFL leaderboard. The strongest punter, turned kickoff pro was Ethan Evans (Rams) who got 89% of his kicks as touchbacks.

Being a kicker who can kick touchbacks is an incredible weapon for coaches from high school to the NFL. High schoolers need only get their ball to the end zone for the play to be called dead. Every coach in America would love to have the other team start their drive on their own 20 yard line. Becoming a kicker who can reliably do this will earn you a lot of playing time.

Coach Farley's Summary

For middle and high schoolers, continue to develop and master the skills of kicking and punting. To get noticed at the next level, you need to earn a starting spot on your team today.


Think less about that future and focus on your present. Not first string yet? Stick with it. Continue to develop. Perhaps you’re a late bloomer? Perhaps you just haven’t figured out the proper technique yet. Become the kind of player who can help your team in as many ways as possible: placekicking, kicking off, kicking onsides, punting, holding, becoming a position player, and backing-up at anything and everything). The more you can do, the more your coach will be apt to give you an opportunity — the more chances for you to succeed and the greater your love and enjoyment of the game is apt to lead you to the next level!

This is where Mike Farley’s Kickers Camp can be crucial in helping you learn and grow as a kicker and punter, to see others your own age and skill level and gain some experience succeeding in front of others.