LIGHT ON THE BOOMSTICK
If seeking a booming kicker with sniper distance, Nugent is not the guy. His power limitations will mildly influence two areas of the kicking game.
First, expect fewer touchbacks which guarantee minimal starting field position.
BAILEY (2016): 91 kickoffs, 57 touchbacks, 63% TB rate
BAILEY (2015): 73 kickoffs, 49 touchbacks, 67% TB rate
NUGENT (2016): 63 kickoffs, 28 touchbacks, 44% TB rate
NUGENT (2015): 89 kickoffs, 42 touchbacks, 47% TB rate
A sub 50% touchback rate is a small regression as it places Nugent below average in comparison to other starting NFL kickers.
To avoid being overly concerned, the rookie who beat him out in New York currently has the same 44% touchback rate Nugent recorded last year.
Even a minor increase in returned kickoffs will likely be negated by the Cowboys excellent kick coverage. In a brief stint, more returns may help field position.
A second concern with a less powerful leg is Nugent’s long range inconsistency.
FG’s from 50+ yards:
BAILEY (2012-16): 22 of 31 (71%)
NUGENT (2012-16): 6 of 15 (40%)
Bailey is the gold standard of distance kicking, Nugent is more like cubic zirconia.
With a long of 55 and much inconsistency, Nugent can give it a shot if Dallas reaches the 38. Though finger crossing will be mandatory.
There’s no need to panic. Dallas has only kicked once from 50+ yards in seven FG attempts in 2017. Only four tries occurred in the last 22 games.