Justin Tucker

Justin Tucker (Photo by Jamie Lamor Thompson on Shutterstock)

There’s a lot to consider when determining what makes a great kicker. Is it kicking one of the longest playoff field goals? Is it having the highest field goal percentage in NFL history? From our research, we found that expert sites considered consistency, longevity, and overall level of difficulty when searching for the best NFL kickers.

Among the elite NFL kickers, few have left a more indelible mark on the game than Justin Tucker. As the Baltimore Ravens’ kicker, he has not only displayed remarkable accuracy but also the ability to consistently nail long-range field goals, making him a game-changer in critical moments. With numerous Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl victory to his name, Tucker’s clutch performances have solidified his status as one of the best kickers in NFL history.

Another iconic figure in NFL kicking history is Adam Vinatieri, whose legendary career spanned over two decades. Vinatieri is renowned for his ice-cold demeanor under pressure, most notably in his game-winning kicks during two Super Bowls for the New England Patriots. His impressive consistency and longevity in the league, coupled with his numerous records and accolades, make Vinatieri a true icon among NFL kickers, earning him a place among the greatest to ever play the position.

Kickers shouldn’t get the short end of the stick; they make winning shots too! If you can’t think of any by name, StudyFinds did some digging. We consulted 10 sports and football-oriented websites to bring you the best NFL kickers of all time. Did we miss one of your favorites? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!  

A referee beneath a field goal
A referee beneath a field goal (Photo by Matt Benson on Unsplash)

The List: Best NFL Kickers, According to Experts

1. Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens)

Justin Tucker will play his 12th season with the Ravens in 2023 and is the best kicker in NFL history on most expert lists. “Tucker went undrafted in the 2012 NFL Draft with four kickers picked ahead of him. Tucker has made more than 90% of his field goal attempts in his career, an NFL record for a kicker with a minimum of 100 attempts,” informs wolfgangssport.com.  

One thing we learned for sure about Justin Tucker from the ten expert sites is that nobody has been more automatic than him. “Tucker is the only kicker to ever make more than nine kicks out of every 10 on average. He’s the only one who can hit that high note, and he’s made his mark playing in the AFC North’s elements. There isn’t a single dome in the division, and Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio aren’t known for sunny beaches and calm conditions,” says Pro Football Network.

Justin Tucker owns the record for the longest field goal at 66 yards. This is far from the only field goal from 60-plus yards that he’s hit in his career. “Since he came into the league in 2012, Tucker has been close to automatic on PATs, even when the distance was pushed back. Tucker has been nearly as automatic on field goals, frequently among the top kickers in both made field goals and percentage. When you see Tucker on the field, you just know the kick is going to be good no matter the situation, and that’s what makes him the best of all time,” shares Franchise Sports.

2. Adam Vinatieri (Indianapolis Colts)

Adam Vinatieri is a future Hall of Famer who continues to be one of the most productive and impactful players in the NFL. “Even as he gets close to his 20th year in the league, Vinatieri still kicks with power and accuracy. With just one missed kick last year—he nailed 30 of 31 attempts—Vinatieri has the accuracy and consistency that we wouldn’t blame you if you turned away while he was kicking,” offers Bleacher Report.

Many sites said that Vinatieri was the one who “kicked off” New England’s dynasty. He excelled in many big moments. “Vinatieri kicked the game-winning field goal when the Patriots won their first Super Bowl, not to mention the field goal in the snow he kicked to tie the Division Round game in the infamous Tuck Rule Game,” says Franchise Sports.

Often mentioned as the greatest kicker of all time, Vinatieri is a former NFL kicker who played for the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts throughout his 24-year career. “During his career, Vinatieri made over 599 field goals and 874 extra point attempts, making him one of the most prolific scorers in NFL history. He also holds the record for the most consecutive field goals in the regular season. Vinatieri is a three-time Pro Bowler and was recognized as a First-Team All-Pro three times in his career,” states First Sportz.

3. Stephen Gostkowski (New England Patriots)

Three-time Super Bowl champion Stephen Gostkowski enjoyed a very successful 14-year run with the New England Patriots. “The franchise’s all-time leading scorer, Gostkowski was extremely accurate kicking 86.3% of field goal attempts during his career. Aside from his final season at Tennessee, Gostkowski was a model of consistency throughout his career. He converted an NFL record 523 straight extra points between 2006 and 2016,” says wolfgangssport.com.  

Even with half of his games accompanied by the brutal wind of Massachusetts, Gostkowski was rock-solid. “We won’t blame you if you haven’t been alive to see a bad kicker in New England. After letting Adam Vinatieri walk, the team drafted Stephen Gostkowski (6’1”, 215 lbs, nine seasons) out of Memphis in the fourth round,” offers Bleacher Report.

While he got plenty of opportunities because of Tom Brady and set the record before the Patriots were moved back to 35 yards, Gostkowski holds the NFL record for 479 extra points converted. “It’s safe to say that Gostowski’s record will never be broken. He ended his illustrious career with four Pro Bowl invitations and three Super Bowl rings,” informs Franchise Sports.

4. Tyler Bass (Buffalo Bills)

They say that consistency is key for a kicker. Tyler Bass has been one of the league’s most consistent kickers all season. “Bass cashed both field goals and all four extra-point tries during the Bills Wild Card win over the Dolphins. In one season, he’s made 27 of 31 field goals and 48 of 50 extra-point tries. He remains a solid option heading into the divisional round,” says BETMGM.

Tyler Bass has made 87 percent of his field-goal attempts in the last two years. “It doesn’t matter if you make 100% of your kicks in one season if you can only convert on 65% of them the next. Brett Maher is a perfect example of the immediate fall-off that can happen in the position. Bass has been relatively consistent throughout his three NFL seasons. He missed six kicks as a rookie and four in both his sophomore and junior years,” explains Pro Football Network.

Tyler Bass holds the NFL record for the most 50-plus yard field goals made in a single game, but he hasn’t made a Pro Bowl yet in his career. “Coming from Dutch Fork High School, Bass earned All-Sun Belt honors three times at Georgia Southern. Since landing with the Buffalo Bills in 2020 (188th overall pick), Bass has displayed one of the most powerful legs in the NFL,” informs Sportsnaut.

5.  Evan McPherson (Cincinnati Bengals)

Evan McPherson hit the ground running and gained instant fame with the Bengals as a rookie. McPherson made his lone field goal attempt and went 1-for-2 on extra-point tries in the Bengals’ win over the Ravens. Throughout the season, he has had some ups and downs. But the Bengals are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They could go deep into the playoffs, meaning McPherson could have his shot at redemption,” explains BETMGM.

McPherson’s career stats include an 83.9% field-goal conversion rate, 93.5% extra-point conversion rate, and 14-of-16 from 50-plus. “McPherson made 14 kicks during the Bengals 2021 run to the Super Bowl and five in last season’s run. Although he’s been far from a sure thing in the regular season, fans and the team won’t mind that as long as he continues to be automatic in the postseason. Kickers build their legacies through what they do in the biggest moments, and he hasn’t missed yet,” states Pro Football Network.

Among some of the best NFL kickers, many are consistent, but few are more reliable from deep than Evan McPherson. “In the last two years for the Cincinnati Bengals, McPherson has made 14-of-16 attempts from beyond 50 yards away. What keeps him just behind the top options in our kicker rankings is his shakiness from shorter distances, only converting on 68.2 percent of his kicks from 40-49 yards out,” informs Sportsnaut.

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About Janelle Davis

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