For fans preparing for the upcoming NFL season, it’s important not to forget about the best kickers in 2023. We often think that NFL games come down to quarterback play or winning in the trenches.
Surely, there are football positions more important than kicker. But countless NFL games every year are decided by a field goal or less, meaning kickers often play a pivotal role in winning and losing games.
Ranking best kickers in 2023
In other words, the top kickers in the NFL are a huge asset for their teams. But who are the best NFL kickers right now? Well, there tends to be a lot of fluctuation from one year to the next when it comes to the top kickers in the NFL. While it wasn’t easy, we came up with a preseason ranking of the 10 best kickers in 2023.
10. Graham Gano
Even at age 36, Graham Gano still qualifies as one of the NFL’s best kickers. He’s come back strong and aged like a fine wine since missing the entire 2019 season due to injury.
Gano connected on 31 of 32 field goals in 2020 and 29 of 32 last season. He’s kicked in the NFL for 13 seasons and made close to 85% of his field goals. With just four PAT misses over the last three seasons, Gano has proven that he’s still very much at the top of his game.
9. Jason Myers
As the NFL’s reigning scoring leader, Jason Myers certainly belongs among the league’s top kickers heading into 2023. Myers also made the Pro Bowl last season and was an underrated factor in Seattle’s surprising run to the playoffs.
Earlier this year, the Seahawks rewarded him with a four-year extension, cementing his future in Seattle. For his career, Myers is hitting nearly 86% of his field goals, which is no small feat for a kicker who’s been in the NFL for nearly a decade.
8. Tyler Bass
Kicking in Buffalo isn’t an easy job. There is usually wind and rain, sometimes snow. But that’s why it’s even more impressive to see Tyler Bass become one of the NFL’s best kickers during the early part of his career.
In three seasons with the Bills, Bass has made nearly 86% of his field goals, convincing the Bills to give him a four-year extension earlier this year. Even during his rookie season in 2022, Bass showed an ability to fight against the strong Buffalo winds and handle the pressure of kicking for a team with championship aspirations, making him one of the best kickers in the league right now.
7. Jake Elliott
Just a few years ago, Jake Elliott made less than 75% of his field goals, making his future in the NFL a little uncertain. But he responded to that by going to the Pro Bowl in 2021 and helping the Eagles reach the Super Bowl last season.
He’s turned things around in a big way and could be considered among the best kickers in the league right now. Keep in mind that Elliott was a rookie with the Eagles when they won the Super Bowl in 2017. He’s also a perfect 15 for 15 on field goals in the playoffs, making him a kicker the Eagles can trust while they chase another Super Bowl in 2023.
6. Younghoe Koo
If he didn’t play for the Falcons, it’s possible that Younghoe Koo would get a lot more credit and publicity for being one of the NFL’s best kickers. To his credit, he still managed to lead the NFL in points in 2020 and made more than 90% of his field goals in 2020 and 2021.
Even if his accuracy dropped a little last season, Koo has still made 89% of his field goals in his career. He’s even 20 for 25 on field goals over 50 yards, showing plenty of range. Plus, Koo has only missed two PATs over the last two seasons, as he almost always makes the kicks that he’s supposed to make.
5. Matt Gay
Matt Gay set an NFL record this offseason for the largest free-agent contract ever given to a kicker. He was a Pro Bowler and arguably the top kicker in the league two years ago when he helped the Rams win the Super Bowl. Last year, he made over 90% of his field goals and missed just one PAT for the second straight year.
That allowed Gay to land a four-year, $22.5 million deal from the Colts this past offseason. Obviously, expectations are high for him now that he’s signed a big contract. But there’s no reason to think that Gay won’t continue to excel in Indy.
4. Daniel Carlson
The Vikings must be kicking themselves (pun intended) for releasing Daniel Carlson just two games into his rookie season. The Raiders have given him a fair chance and been rewarded, as he’s blossomed into one of the NFL’s top kickers. Carlson has led the league in points twice in the last three seasons while making 88% of his career field goal attempts.
He only missed one PAT and three field goals in 2022, setting up Carlson to be among the best kickers in 2023 once again. He’s already proven that he can handle the pressure of big moments, which is why the Raiders have made him one of the highest-paid kickers in the league.
3. Harrison Butker
The Chiefs have won two of the last four Super Bowls thanks to some big-time kicks from Harrison Butker. When the Chiefs have had close games, he usually delivers. Oddly enough, Butker took a slight step backward in 2022, only converting 75% of his field goals during the regular season. But he obviously didn’t hold back the Chiefs during the playoffs.
Plus, Butker is hitting over 88% of his field goals during his career and also led the NFL in points in 2019. Also, don’t forget that he had the NFL’s longest field goal last season, hitting from 62 yards. There’s no reason to think he won’t be one of the best kickers in 2023 and able to come through for the Chiefs when they need him.
2. Evan McPherson
After just two seasons in the league, Evan McPherson has already made it clear that he’s one of the NFL’s best kickers. Don’t think that Cincinnati’s recent success isn’t at least somewhat tied to McPherson, who has already come up with some huge kicks for the Bengals, including going 19 for 19 on field goals and 12 for 13 on PATs during the playoffs.
Over his first two seasons, McPherson has converted 84% of his field goals, so there is still some room for improvement. But he’s handled the pressure of being a placekicker in the NFL far better than most young kickers in the history of the game, which is why his future in the league is so promising.
1. Justin Tucker
There is already a strong argument that Justin Tucker is one of the greatest kickers in NFL history, so there is no question he’s the best kicker in the game heading into the 2023 season. He currently owns the all-time record for field goal percentage, making over 90% of his field goals, and the longest field goal in NFL history at 66 yards.
There is nobody more reliable at kicking field goals or more capable of hitting field goals from long range. It’s why Tucker has been a First-Team All-Pro selection four times in the last seven years and a Second-Team selection in the other three years during that span.
He’s a virtual lock to make the Pro Bowl every year and a virtual lock on PATs, missing just five of them over the last five years since the distance was moved back. No other kicker in the game can claim that, which is why Tucker still stands alone as the best kicker in the NFL.