It's officially the dead part of the NFL offseason, which can only mean one thing here at CBSSports.com: It's time for our annual top 10 ranking of each position group.
Over the past few weeks, we've been ranking every position groupto to to , and now, we've saved the best for almost last: kickers.
Ranking NFL kickers is pretty easy -- at least at the top -- because all you have to do is put Justin Tucker at No. 1 and then go from there. However, things get slightly dicier after that. There are probably 12 to 14 kickers who could make an argument that they belong on this list, but we can only rank 10, so I'd like to send my early apologies to anyone who got left off.
All right, let's get to the rankings, starting with the guys who got left off.
10. Eddy Pineiro, Panthers
Pineiro has quietly been one of the most accurate kickers in the NFL over the past two seasons. After going 8 of 8 during a short stint with the Jets in 2021, Pineiro latched on with the Panthers in 2022 and proved that his perfect season wasn't a fluke. Pineiro hit 94.3% of his field goals last season (33 of 35), which was the second-highest conversion rate in the NFL. Over the past two seasons, Pineiro has hit 95.3% of his field goal attempts, which makes him the NFL's most accurate kicker since the start of the 2021 season.
Pineiro helped the Panthers end their 2022 season on a high note when he kicked a game-winner against the Saints to give Carolina a 10-7 win over New Orleans.
The Panthers were clearly thrilled with the way Pineiro kicked in 2022 because the team ended up rewarding him with a new two-year contract in March.
9. Jason Myers, Seahawks
Myers has a long track record of success in the NFL. Since entering the league in 2015, not only has Myers already been voted to two Pro Bowls, but he also pulled off one of the most successful kicking seasons in NFL history in 2020 when he made 100% of his kicks. Myers went 24 of 24 that year, making him one of only three kickers in league history to attempt 20 or more field goals in a season and make all of them (Mike Vanderjagt and Gary Anderson are the others). From November 2019 to September 2021, Myers hit 37 straight field goals, which still stands as the fourth-longest streak in NFL history.
In 2022, Myers had another solid season, hitting 91.9% of his field goals, which made him the fifth-most accurate kicker in the NFL last year. The most impressive part of Myers' season might have been the fact that he was perfect from beyond 50 yards, going 6 of 6. His perfect showing from that distance helped him put up 143 points last season, which led the NFL.
8. Graham Gano, Giants
Over the past six seasons, there haven't been many kickers better than Gano. In three of the past six years, Gano has ranked in the top eight in accuracy, including a 2017 season that ended with him as the NFL's most accurate kicker at 96.7%.
In 2022, Gano hit 29 of 32 field goals, finishing as the NFL's eighth-most accurate kicker, but if you look closer at the numbers, Gano was actually better than his percentage suggested. Gano only missed two kicks from inside 57 yards last season (28 of 30) and one of those two misses wasn't even his fault, because it got blocked.
Gano was especially good from long range in 2022, hitting 8 of 9 field goals from beyond 50 yards. His 88.9% conversion rate was the highest among kickers who attempted eight field goals or more from beyond 50 yards. Hitting long kicks from that distance is something that Gano has thrived at in his career. Back in 2018, Gano hit a 63-yard field goal while playing for the Panthers, which is still tied for the third-longest kick in NFL history.
Gano has somehow gotten progressively better with age. During his first full year in 2010, Gano missed 11 field goals, which is wild, when you consider that he's only missed 11 field goals COMBINED over the past six seasons.
7. Jake Elliott, Eagles
Elliott has been the Eagles kicker since 2017 and one big reason they keep him around is because he almost always comes up big in the clutch, which he proved in just his second game ever with the team when he hit a 61-yard game-winning field goal against the Giants.
Since then, Elliott has come up big multiple times for the Eagles, including their regular-season finale in 2022. In Week 18, the Eagles needed a win over the Giants to clinch the NFC's No. 1 seed and a big reason they ended up getting that win is because Elliott hit five field goals, including two from beyond 50 (52, 54).
Over the past two seasons, Elliott has hit 88.9% of his kicks from beyond 50 (8 of 9), which is the best percentage for any kicker in the NFL who's attempted five or more kicks from that range. Although Elliott ranked 13th overall in accuracy last season (87%), that wasn't completely his fault. Of his three misses in 2022, one was blocked and one came from 54 yards.
One other reason the Eagles likely love Elliott is because he's come up clutch in the postseason. Elliiott is a perfect 15-for-15 on playoff field goal attempts in his career, which makes him one of just four kickers in NFL history to attempt at least 15 playoff field goals and make them all (Robbie Gould, Evan McPherson and Chris Boswell are the others).
6. Chris Boswell, Steelers
The Steelers kicker was No. 2 on this list last year, but he's now down to sixth after an ugly 2022 season where he only hit 71.4% of his field goals. The reason he's still on this list, though, is because he has such an impressive track record. In the three seasons from 2019 to 2022, Boswell hit 90% or more of his field goals each year, making him the ONLY kicker in the NFL to pull off that feat.
Also, one reason Boswell struggled in 2022 was because he was dealing with a groin injury that forced him to miss five games. If a kicker is dealing with a lower body injury, that usually means trouble for them, because it's almost impossible to play through. Assuming he's healthy in 2023, it won't be surprising to see him return to form.
Despite his ugly year in 2022, Boswell still has a career field goal percentage of 86.3%, which makes him the 11th most accurate kicker in NFL history.
5. Younghoe Koo, Falcons
Since taking over the Falcons starting job in 2019, Koo has been one of the best kickers in the NFL. In 2021, he was the third-most accurate kicker in the league with a field goal percentage of 93.9%. Although he wasn't as accurate in 2022 -- he hit 86.5% of his kickers last year (32 of 37) -- most of his misses came on difficult kicks.
As a matter of fact, of Koo's five misses last season, four of them came on kicks of 50 yards or longer. On field goals from inside 50 yards, Koo went 25 of 26 (96.2%), giving him the second-highest percentage of any kicker in the NFL who attempted 25 field goals or more from that range (only Justin Tucker, who hit 96.6%, had a better percentage). Koo's accuracy showed down the stretch as he closed out the 2022 season by hitting 13 straight field goals.
Koo also provided the decisive points in four of Atlanta's seven wins last season, including a Week 11 victory over the Bears where he hit a 53-yard field goal with under two minutes remaining.
Over the course of his career, Koo has hit 89.1% of his field goals, which makes him the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history behind only Tucker.
When an NFL team finds a good kicker, they usually do whatever they can to keep him, but that's not the case with Gay. Although he's been one of the best kickers in the NFL over the past few years, the Rams decided to let him walk in free agency in March, which is how he ended up in Indianapolis.
The free agency move makes Gay the only kicker in our top 10 who won't be kicking for the same team that he kicked for last season and the irony is that the Rams might end up kicking themselves for letting him go.
Gay has hit at least 93% of his field goals in each of the past two seasons, making him the only kicker in the NFL who's pulled off that feat. In 2021, Gay hit 94.1% of his field goals, which ranked second in the NFL, behind only Tucker. He followed that up in 2022 by hitting 93.3% of his field goals, which ranked fourth in the NFL last year. Gay only missed two kicks last season and one of those came from 61 yards out.
Gay also played a huge part in the Rams' Super Bowl run back in 2021. During the playoffs that year, Gay kicked not one, but two game-winning field goals during the playoffs. First, he beat the Buccaneers with a 30-yard field goal as time expired in the divisional round, then he followed that up with another 30-yard game-winner against the 49ers that came with under two minutes to play in the NFC title game.
Although Gay struggled during his rookie year with the Buccaneers in 2019, he's slowly put that behind him to become the fifth-most accurate kicker in NFL history with a career conversion rate of 87.8%.
Butker hit just 75% of his field goals last season, but a lot of that had to do with an injury that he suffered in Week 1. After injuring his ankle in the Chiefs' opener against Arizona, Butker wasn't the same kicker for a good chunk of the season. After missing four games due to his ankle issue, Butker returned in Week 6 and only hit 4 of 7 field goals over the next three weeks. However, after Week 8, Butker starting kicking like his old self and when he's kicking like his old self, he's definitely one of the top three kickers in the NFL.
From Week 9 thru Week 17, Butker didn't miss a single field goal from inside 51 yards. He also came up huge in the playoffs with two game-winning kicks, including a 45-yard field goal against the Bengals in the AFC title game that came with just three seconds left.
Oh, and he also hit the game-winning kick in the Super Bowl, even though he didn't get to keep the ball.
Not only is Butker clutch, but he also has a booming leg, which he showed off in 2022 when he hit the longest field goal of any kicker all season, a 62-yarder against the Bills.
Despite his ugly kicking percentage in 2022, Butker has still hit 88.2% of his field goals over the course of his career, which makes him the fourth-most accurate kicker in NFL history.
The Raiders have now spent three full seasons in Las Vegas and the biggest winner of the move might be Carlson. After struggling through his first two seasons (2018-19), Carlson has been on fire since the move to Vegas in 2020.
The Raiders kicker has hit at least 90% of his field goals in each of his past three seasons, making him the ONLY kicker in the NFL to pull of that feat from 2020 thru 2022.
Not only is he accurate, but he's good from long range. Since 2020, Carlson has gone 21 of 24 (87.5%) on field goals of 50 yards or longer. To put that in perspective, Carlson is one of nine kickers to attempt 20 or more field goals from that range over the past three seasons combined and he's the only one who has hit more than 80% of his kicks. Out of that group of nine, four of them have hit below 70%, which makes Carslon's numbers all the more impressive. In 2022, he set the NFL record for most field goals from 50 yards or more in a single-season with 11.
The craziest thing about Carlson might be that he almost never misses at home. During his three years in Vegas, Carlson has hit 53 out of 54 field goals at Allegiant Stadium, which means he might be the only person in Vegas who has a higher success rate than the house.
After hitting 91.9% of his field goals last season (34 of 37), Carlson has now hit 88.3% for his career, which makes him the third-most accurate kicker in NFL history.
1. Justin Tucker, Ravens
This is the fourth year that we've ranked the top 10 kickers in the NFL and for the fourth straight year, there's no surprise when it comes to the top spot: Justin Tucker is No. 1. And he'll probably remain there as long as he has a functioning right leg.
Being a great kicker in the NFL comes down to one main thing, and that's the ability to make field goals and no one does that better than Tucker. Over the course of his career, he's made 90.5% of his kicks, which makes him the most accurate kicker in NFL history.
Tucker's accuracy numbers would be even higher if the Ravens didn't regularly trot him out for crazy kicks. Over the course of his career, the Ravens have asked him to attempt eight field goals of 61 yards or longer (he's 2 of 8 on those kicks). To put that in perspective, only one other kicker in that span has been asked to attempt even six field goals from that range and that's Brandon McManus, who has gone 1 of 9 in his career from 61 yards or longer.
If you look at Tucker's numbers from last season, you might think that he had a down year, because he only hit 86% of his kicks, but it's hard to blame Tucker for his misses. The Ravens kicker missed six field goals in 2022, but four of those came from 55 yards or longer, including two that came from at least 61 yards (61, 67).
From inside 54 yards, Tucker went 33 of 35 in 2022 and one of those two misses was blocked.
Besides his accuracy, another thing that makes Tucker great is his ability to make kicks in the clutch. At one point in his career, Tucker had hit 65 STRAIGHT FIELD GOALS in the fourth quarter or overtime, which was the longest streak in NFL history, but that came to an end when he missed the 67-yard field goal in Week 12 against the Jaguars on a kick that came up just short.
The reason the Ravens trotted him out there is because he can actually make kicks like that. Tucker holds the NFL record for longest field goal, a kick that famously came back in 2021 when he hit a 66-yard game-winner against the Lions.
It's not often that you talk about a kicker being a lock for the Hall of Fame, but Tucker is getting close to being in that category after 11 NFL seasons. Although the Pro Football Hall of Fame has only inducted two true kickers -- Jan Stenerud and Morten Andersen -- in its 60-year existence, Tucker is making a strong case for being the third (or fourth, if Adam Vinatieri gets in), so needless to say, he's at the top of our best kicker list.