Specialists are up now in the 2019 positional review series and that means the guys that kick the ball for a living.
The Broncos have a kicker with one of the strongest legs in the league in Brandon McManus and a punter that is well known for being a pizza delivery driver before coming to the Broncos in Colby Wadman.
There’s not much more to talk about with these two guys so let’s jump into a review of their 2019 seasons. No, Casey Kreiter, the team’s long snapper, will not be a part of this report card.
Field goals: 29-of-34
Extra points: 25-of-26
McManus just completed his sixth season with the Broncos and for those interested, he is also the team’s player rep and will represent the team’s votes on the collective bargaining agreement set to be voted on this coming week.
McManus only missed five field goals on the season but three of those came from 50 yards or more, where he was just 4-of-7 kicking from that range. McManus is known for his strong leg and missing those leads to great field position for the opposition.
He only missed one extra point, which by today’s standards, is pretty good because there are kickers that seem to miss one almost every game.
Perhaps the most memorable moment from 2019 involving McManus was the game in which he clearly lost his cool when Vic Fangio decided to pull him off the field after initially sending him out for what would have been a 65-yard field goal just before halftime.
McManus never got to attempt what would have been a new NFL record.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad season for McManus, but it wasn’t the best by his standards and the misses from long range bring his grade down a bit.
Inside 20-yard line: 29
Net average: 39.4
Perhaps Wadman shouldn’t have to go back to delivering pizzas, but punting the ball in the NFL might not be his thing either.
Despite kicking the ball in the thin air of Denver, Wadman seems to have a pretty average leg as his average of 44.4 yards per kick is pretty weak.
But the most important number for a punter is their net average. That is the overall yardage that the team gains on a punt in terms of giving the other team the ball back. It’s how teams win the battle of field position.
Wadman’s net average of 39.4 yards per punt was poor. Out of 36 punters that qualified for that stat last season, Wadman ranked 30th. That doesn’t work.
The Broncos should seriously consider replacing Wadman in 2020 or at the very least bringing someone in to push him in camp and force him to be better. In all likelihood though, the Broncos can find a better punter just about anywhere.