It’s no secret that kickers are usually left off the board on NFL Draft weekend. Here is why it could be different for Justin Yoon in 2019.
When you look at the NFL Draft, a kicker is typically one of the last positions that you would draft. In the last 10 drafts, only 17 kickers have been taken. It just isn’t a priority for most teams. But the Irish are sending their most talented kicker ever into the 2019 NFL Draft. There are many teams that should keep an eye on Justin Yoon, but here is the case for why Yoon would be perfect for the Chicago Bears.
Coming into college, Yoon was looking to pursue his dreams of becoming a big time kicker while also getting a top-level education. Now, after four seasons in the blue and gold, Yoon is leaving with his place well-cemented in the Notre Dame record books. He is number one in pretty much every single-season and career record category — including career scoring and single-season field goals made.
While he has proven himself as a great place kicker, the biggest question mark for Yoon heading into the draft will be his ability to handle kickoffs. He has never been very consistent with his kickoffs and often times during his career he did not serve as the kickoff specialist. He did kickoff more in his senior season, dropping seven of his 24 kickoffs for touchbacks. At the end of the day, this will be something that he needs to improve on a great deal before draft day if he wants to hear his name called.
So where would Yoon be a good fit? Well, if you watched the NFL this season, you probably saw or heard about the Chicago Bears and the way that their season ended. It’s clear that Cody Parkey is on a very short leash with the Bears right now. The fact that he was not cut after he put the possible game-winning field goal off the post is interesting. But you would have to believe one more mistake and Parker is out the door.
Enter Justin Yoon.
Yoon would be able to come in on day one of training camp and compete for the starting job. The thing about kickers is that they always have the pressure on. That might be just what the Bears need at this point. If Yoon comes in and puts pressure on Parkey for the starting job, it can make Parkey better. Then if that doesn’t work out, you have a good, young kid who can get the job done. It also wouldn’t hurt to get a guy in that went to school just under two hours away.
Will Yoon hear his name get called during the draft? It’s hard to say for sure. But one thing is pretty clear — we will be hearing Yoon’s name be called on Sundays.