The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a surprising selection in the 2016 NFL Draft with its pick of Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo. The Buccaneers invested the 59th overall pick in the second round for the kicker with the hope of its kicking game solidified for years to come.
This has not been the case for the Buccaneers and Aguayo as he hs struggled through training camp and preseason. In two preseason games, Aguayo has missed two field goals and an extra point after being 198-for-198 on extra points and only nine total missed field goals at Florida State.
Aguayo continued to struggle in a joint practice with the Cleveland Browns as he was 3-for-6 on field goals with a miss from 35 yards and two misses from 45 yards. These are not encouraging signs to Aguayo’s NFL career as he already hearing the loud boos.
Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter acknowledged his kicker is struggling and that he must figure out how to fix this.
“He’s struggling,” said Koetter. “He’s struggling a little bit right now. He’s gotta work his way through it.”
The one thing you do not want to hear from your starting kicker is that his confidence is wavering and Aguayo admitted that his confidence has been affected throughout this tough time early in his NFL career.
“I’d say a little bit, but in times like this, it builds you up so down the road in the future, you’re a lot stronger, ya know? You’ve got to have times like this where you struggle a little bit,” said Aguayo.
Investing such an early pick for a kicker is a very risky move as it is always possible to find a kicker in the late rounds or even undrafted. Aguayo has added pressure to himself to turn his kicking woes around or his NFL career may be in jeopardy sooner than it ever should be.