Last But Not Least

As we talk about the best value pick of Scott Pioli’s short time in Kansas City, it’s important to remember that Ryan Succop has set the bar high for this year’s Mr. Irrelevant, WR Tim Toone.

The 256th and last pick of the 2009 draft not only made Kansas City’s roster, but he also won the starting kicking job before training camp even began.

One of only two place-kickers to be drafted last year (there were none this year), Succop went on to make 25 of his 29 field goal attempts.  That included an overtime game-winner to beat the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I’d made kicks that turned out to be game-winners,” Succop said,  “but never one to win a game right then and there.  It was a great moment for me and for the team. It meant so much to us as a team.”

His 25 field goals set a franchise record, breaking Hall of Famer Jan Stenerud’s 43-year-old record of 21 field goals.  Succop won the Mack Lee Hill Award, which is given to Kansas City’s top rookie.

“I kicked the ball about as well as I could’ve asked for,” said Succop, a native of Hickory, N.C.  “I was blessed with a great year and a great opportunity.  I’m very thankful for that.”

Even going last in the draft, Succop appears to have found a near-perfect home.

“All along I kind of looked at it as an opportunity to make the team,” Succop said. “I took advantage of it. Now, I’ve got to build upon that.”

If you were to pick a Chiefs player to take a step back from his 2009 performance it would be Succop.  That’s not because last year was a fluke but because that’s just how good he was as a rookie.  Succop didn’t miss any kicks under 40 yards and only one between 40-49.  Of the attempts he missed over 50, one was blocked, another was a 56-yarder at the end of a half and the final was from 52.  Even if he has another solid year, it’s unlikely he will go 23/24 on his kicks under 50 yards.

No matter what Succop’s percentage ends up being I do think he will end up hitting one of those ridiculous end of half 55+ yard attempts.  The leg is there, it’s just a matter of getting the right mix of good field conditions and a little wind at his back.

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