From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling Clemson K B.T. Potter.
#29 B.T. Potter/K Clemson – 5100, 185 lbs. (Senior)
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|B.T. Potter||5100, 185||8 7/8||30 3/8||N/A|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Productive player and long career, tons of experience and tape
— Has strong FG % from 50-55 yards
— Adjusts to high/inaccurate snaps and doesn’t mess with his process or form
— Experience as a kickoff specialist
— Overall repeatable form and technique
— Experience in big-game/high-pressure situations and loud environments
— Perfection on extra points
— Regarded as a hard worker
— Lacks elite leg, his maxes out at around 55 yards
— Tends to slice kicks from hash from 40+ yards out, some kicks sneak through upright
— Follow through is a little inconsistent, sometimes shows more of a leg whip on kicks more than others
— Small frame and a little tight in his movements
— Had bouts of ugly string of kicks throughout career
— Doesn’t have much experience kicking in cold weather
— 23 years old
— Career: 73/97 on FGs (75.3%), career long of 52 yards he hit many times, two career tackles and made 99.6% (234/235) of his extra points
— 0/4 in career from 55+ yards
— Right-footed kicker
— Broke school record held by Chris Gardocki and Donald Igwebuike for most career 50+ yard kicks
— FG % increased each year from 2019 to 2021 before dipping slightly in 2022
— Missed three straight kicks in final college game against Tennessee and had three kicks blocked in 2020 versus Miami (FL)
— Over 76% touchback rate on kickoffs, 344 career touchbacks
— Tied school record by appearing in 69 career games for Tigers
— Three-time ACC All-Academic selection
— Three-star recruit from Rock Hill, South Carolina, chose Clemson over Army and Mercer (only other offers)
— Had 68.9% field goal mark in HS career (31-45), four year starter in high school
— Star HS soccer player who had 28 goals (averaged two per game) and 65 points senior year
— Name stands for “Benjamin Thomas”
— Won free Chick-Fil-A for a year in high school after being named Chick-Fil-A of Anderson Player of the Year
— Athletic enough to dunk a basketball
— Played soccer as a child, tried to play football in 2nd grade but was used as OT and didn’t like it before quitting and returning to the game in middle school as a kicker
— High school teammates with Rams CB Derion Kendrick
— Kicking coach is Dan Orner, who has worked with several NFL kickers, including Nick Sciba
Our first – and perhaps not our only – kicker profile. I’m choosing to write something on Potter after Steelers ST Coach Danny Smith attended the Tigers’ Pro Day. So he’s worth checking out. And Potter had a great college career, a long-time kicker who was highly productive and dealt with high-pressure situations.
Kickers are hard for me to evaluate, I’m no expert, but he was solid from 50-55 career yards. He made some kicks from 51, 52 yards out that a lot of college kickers can’t hit. His kicks weren’t wild and he’s got a consistent swing and leg speed that helps control his kicks.
He’s also a solid kickoff specialist who consistently had a high touchback rate. Just one example against North Carolina.
I did notice that from medium distance with the ball on the hash, especially the right hash, his kicks had a tendency to slice. Most of them still went through the uprights but they didn’t look as clean as others. You wonder if he’s going to miss more of those at the next level.
The three-block game against Miami didn’t seem to be his fault but it’s a weird one, and he had a terrible end to his college career, going 2-for-5 in a bowl game loss to Tennessee this year. He missed his first three kicks, all from makeable range, though he bounced back and hit two relatively short ones later in the game.
Believe it or not, the size here might matter. If you look at NFL Combine kickers even in his frame range, 5’9 to 5’11 and between 170 and 195 pounds, there’s only a couple of semi-successful names. Mike Nugent is the top one. A lot of the best kickers in the game have some size. To be fair, only a handful of kickers got a Combine invite this year and there are small kickers who didn’t go to Indy who stuck in the league. I would consider 5’10, 180 to be small by a kicker’s standards…for whatever it’s worth.
For Potter, he’s got a cool backstory. Hard worker, good athlete, and soccer star who won free Chick-Fil A for a year in high school.
I’m hardly qualified to breakdown all the intricates of kicking but Potter’s tape didn’t “wow.” Not that I’m looking for a massive leg that can bang them from 60 yards but the slice and hook on some of his kicks, it just didn’t sit well with me. He put them through the uprights and that’s obviously the goal; it’s pass/fail, but he may not have that success at the next level. Wouldn’t draft him but if he wanted to come in as an undrafted free agent, I wouldn’t be mad about it. Perhaps his kicking coach’s ties to ex-Steeler Nick Sciba will help get him into Pittsburgh.
My NFL comp for Potter is Nick Novak.
Projection: Undrafted Free Agent
Depot Draft Grade: 5.8 – Undrafted Free Agent
Games Watched: Mix Of Makes And Misses, vs Miami FL (202), vs Tennessee (2022)