Round 4 • Pick 10 (112) • K Chad Ryland

Apr 24, 2019
1,278
Patriots.com's Evan Lazar weighs in:

The Patriots are the first team since the Raiders in 2000 to draft a punter and kicker in the same draft. It's not surprising to see the Pats select a kicker. After the 49ers selected Shrine Bowl MVP Jake Moody at the end of the third round, New England traded up in the fourth round to take the second-best kicker in the class. Ryland has a huge leg, hitting over 60 percent of his kicks from 50-plus yards, and is a kickoff specialist. He also has experience kicking in bad weather. If you want, you can take this as an indictment, but Ryland is my favorite pick in the fourth round.
 

Seels

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
4,964
NH
I have my issues with the draft but like this pick, even the trade up for it. 3rd day picks are fungible, they need an answer at K and P. I was actually hoping they took one a year or two ago, but this works.
 

OldeBeanTowne

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2007
1,111
The Patriots have needed a long term answer at K since Gostkowski left. After San Francisco did what they did, it forced the Patriots to react to ensure they were able to get probably the only other draftable K on their board.

The people who are poo pooing the Teams selections, I don't believe appreciate the value of having reliable, preferably cheap, effective Special Teams kicking operations. The fact that the Pats got to watch the two players they drafted work together during Senior Bowl probably helped with their decision.

Sun Chronicle
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
42,839
AZ
The cap cost of rookies (outside the first round) who do not make the team are a little difficult to calculate, but if Ryland does make the team, his cap cost should be around $850,000.

That means $1.35 million in cap savings. That’s not nothing. This was a perfect storm given Folk’s contract situation and the cap savings to cut him. Getting a rookie player in to replace a guy who gives you a cap savings to cut makes a player extra valuable. The stars don’t usually align like that. I agree that once SF did what they did, this became a priority for the Patriots.

$1.35 million in cap is not bad for a fourth round pick, especially if you also get a player. If he doesn’t make the team, I think the extra cap cost is around $267,000. So, some downside but not much.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
30,549
Glob story on Ryland. Seems like nails as a FG-maker, but this sort of worries me:
Ryland did kickoffs in each of his last four seasons. In 2021 at EMU, he kicked a touchback on 54 percent (39 of 72) and in 2022 at Maryland it was 69 percent (47 of 68).
He's improved over time, and I suppose he'll get stronger on an NFL program, but those numbers seem low, especially since kickoff depth was a giant issue in '22.

Why Patriots kicker Chad Ryland is a perfect fit in New England (bostonglobe.com)
 

Squeteague

New Member
May 8, 2021
27
NE had a touchback percentage of 42.06% in 2021, and 36.47% in 2022, good for 30th place, hard to do worse than that.
 

mwonow

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 4, 2005
7,124
Is this as big a deal with the new kickoff rules? Honest question, I don't understand the impact well enough to say. There seems to have been some chatter to the effect that kickers would be looking to have higher-arcing kickoffs land at the 10 or so. Not sure if Ryland has that club in his bag, or even if it's true. Does anyone (@IdiotKicker? Anyone else?) know the answer(s)?
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
30,549
Is this as big a deal with the new kickoff rules? Honest question, I don't understand the impact well enough to say. There seems to have been some chatter to the effect that kickers would be looking to have higher-arcing kickoffs land at the 10 or so. Not sure if Ryland has that club in his bag, or even if it's true. Does anyone (@IdiotKicker? Anyone else?) know the answer(s)?
That did occur to me. The draft was before the rule change, but it just may not be as big a deal as it was.
 

BigJimEd

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
4,441
There seems to have been some chatter to the effect that kickers would be looking to have higher-arcing kickoffs land at the 10 or so.
For what purpose? Those could now be touchbacks. Am I missing something because it seems like those types of kick are the ones they are looking to eliminate? I can see line drives or long squibs that are difficult to field but the high arching seems like a low reward. Unless you have a kicker that can't kick it deep into or out of the end zone.

The new NFL rules are borrowed from the college game. Obviously different pace of play and different coaching could lead to different strategy.
 

kartvelo

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Aug 12, 2003
10,481
At home
I guess a high arcing shot caught at the 10 gives you better field position if the returner muffs the catch and you recover, but that's the only advantage I see at this point.
 

Justthetippett

New Member
Aug 9, 2015
2,442
The returner could also attempt a return and end up short of the 25. There's more variance. It also becomes a different choice than fielding ball inside the end zone.
 

BigJimEd

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
4,441
I guess a high arcing shot caught at the 10 gives you better field position if the returner muffs the catch and you recover, but that's the only advantage I see at this point.
Seems like a muff would be rare in these circumstances but yes possible advantage forcing the returner to field it. Question becomes if that advantage outweighs any downside such as not getting enough hang time and allowing a long return. I would tend to doubt it at least on the high arching kicks that prompted the discussion. Line drives away from returner might be a different story.


The returner could also attempt a return and end up short of the 25. There's more variance. It also becomes a different choice than fielding ball inside the end zone.
That was the point of doing those kicks before the rule change. You would see some teams/kickers do this. Returner had no choice but to run it back and kicking teams felt they could gain a field position edge with their hang time and coverage. The rule seems directly aimed at reducing this scenario by giving the returner a choice to take the touchback.
Some teams might still do it but I am not seeing how this rule, giving the returner a choice, would make more teams try it.
 

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
4,502
Worcester

bsj

Renegade Crazed Genius
SoSH Member
Dec 6, 2003
22,785
Central NJ SoSH Chapter

Brand Name

make hers mark
Moderator
SoSH Member
Oct 6, 2010
4,415
Moving the Line
You want this compactness--I've actually made the same observation elsewhere. Compact form means the attempts are less wide, which sounds obvious, and it is since it's literally a definition. But in actual meaning within kicking, wider kickers I feel have a greater chance to get kicks blocked, simply because there are more places that can impact the kicker's follow-through. My relatable comp for this type of deal has always been a video game hit box. If you're Mario stomping on Goombas, with all else equal, the goomba with the bigger hit box is always easier to squash. Mario here is the opposing ST. Same deal with the kicker.

The non-kicker football comp is how far back (or not) a quarterback reaches his arm back when winding, pre-release. Think about how Andrew Luck around his draft time rightfully got credit for being able to throw a deep ball without hardly rearing his throw hand and bicep back. For the QB, that indicates natural arm strength, and kicker leg strength.

Last but not last: Compact guys I find tend to have quicker releases. So not only are you making it so it's harder to block a given attempt by strength and width, but also a fraction of the time to do so.

As an overall, he's an interesting kid with kickoffs: Big boomer of a leg, good on touchbacks but he's absolutely going to have a game where he has an unnecessary kickoff out of bounds, needs to control that part of his game a little bit more to my eye. He masters that, you're looking at the full package. Aside from the fact he had a lot of experience with cold weather kicking, the kickoff game upside is why I tend to think Belichick drafted Ryland--I truly believe BB values that portion of a kicker's game more than anyone else I've met. It's why Justin Tucker isn't a complete kicker, and with no bias why I'd take Prime Ghost over Prime Tucker.
 

GB5

New Member
Aug 26, 2013
689
Generally the way it works in a lot of these touch and feel sports is the less you are doing in preparation the better. In golf, they tell you to keep your head still during impact, in tennis it’s minimize your backswing. I would imagine with FG kicking it’s the same. Be short and quick to the ball. The theory seems to be the move pre shot stuff you have going on, the higher likelihood that something is going to go out of whack and affect your end result.
 

IdiotKicker

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
10,817
Somerville, MA
It’s a cool little motion. As @Brand Name pointed out, he’s really direct to the ball. But the interesting piece is that his motion is almost a little like Manny’s swing. The beauty there was that Manny was really direct with his hands, but then let himself get long in the follow-through to unleash the power of that directness. “Short-to/long-through” is a thing for a reason when you’re hitting a moving object.

Ryland has a little of that here. He’s quick to the ball and then allows for a full release of his front side that makes his swing look as easy as Manny’s. It’s very pretty and it clearly works.

The only piece that’s a bit troubling is that he does end up in the back seat sometimes because of that “long-through” motion. Like, “ok I’m going to let my leg extend fully through to release the hip tension, but in order to do so I kind of have to sit back a bit to balance myself.” If the timing there goes off-kilter, those kicks are going right. I would rather see that resolved through maintaining more forward momentum and allowing yourself to fall forward with a bigger skip-step after contact. Steer into the skid, don’t try to steer away from it. But his stats speak for themselves, so if there’s an issue there, it’s not showing up in performance, and ultimately that’s what matters.
 

Eddie Jurak

canderson-lite
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
44,669
Melrose, MA
You want this compactness--I've actually made the same observation elsewhere. Compact form means the attempts are less wide, which sounds obvious, and it is since it's literally a definition. But in actual meaning within kicking, wider kickers I feel have a greater chance to get kicks blocked, simply because there are more places that can impact the kicker's follow-through. My relatable comp for this type of deal has always been a video game hit box. If you're Mario stomping on Goombas, with all else equal, the goomba with the bigger hit box is always easier to squash. Mario here is the opposing ST. Same deal with the kicker.
This is a great post overall, but I don't quite get the bolded. (I wholly get the your other point - wider kickers could be slower to the ball and therefore more likely to be blocked). If you are blocking the kick you have to get to the ball, which is in the same place regardless, not the kicker, no?
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts way less than 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
14,476
This is a great post overall, but I don't quite get the bolded. (I wholly get the your other point - wider kickers could be slower to the ball and therefore more likely to be blocked). If you are blocking the kick you have to get to the ball, which is in the same place regardless, not the kicker, no?
If someone hits Macs arm as he's following through, will the ball be delivered the same? The ball itself may not be "blocked", but the kick is definitely impacted.
 

Eddie Jurak

canderson-lite
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 12, 2002
44,669
Melrose, MA
If someone hits Macs arm as he's following through, will the ball be delivered the same?
Is this a trick question? If Mac anticipates being hit, he might change his action and deliver the ball differently. If he has no idea a hit is coming, nothing that happens to Mac's arm after he releases the ball will have any impact on the delivery.
 
Last edited:

Brand Name

make hers mark
Moderator
SoSH Member
Oct 6, 2010
4,415
Moving the Line
If someone hits Macs arm as he's following through, will the ball be delivered the same? The ball itself may not be "blocked", but the kick is definitely impacted.
Is this a trick question? If Mac anticipates being hit, he might change his action and deliver the ball differently. If he has no idea a hit is coming, nothing that happens to Mac's arm after he releases the ball will have any impact on the delivery.
Thanks, EJ.

KFP has this, yeah. It's not always the ball directly, so much as it is the motion, and in turn the kicker himself. For a kicker, there are fewer options in being able to adjust given the additional step of a holder being necessary to get off the kick. It's an additional step, and thus an additional opportunity to fuck up. If you fuck up the motion of the kicker, you're going to impact how he gets said kick off, like if he slips or possibly rushes. The latter in a roundabout way goes to IK's concerns potentially as much.

One thing to note too is the position and eye angle of a given position. Forgive me if this seems obvious but it does matter with respect to the bolded part of EJ's post. A kicker looks dead on facing forward to the other special team, relative to eye position and footwork when kicking. A quarterback is facing/releasing at his side with his feet when throwing and exposes himself with limits to either side--which is by default so he can get better step drop immediately post snap and establish proper footwork to be set and get the best release. So it's really rare (in comparison to a QB) for a kicker to not know a given hit is coming. It can still happen of course.