Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles surprisingly invested a 4th round pick to select second-year kicker Alex Henery. Henery was one of the most underrated players on the 2011 Eagles squad from a year ago, having to come in and replace six-time Pro Bowl kicker David Akers.
Being a kicker is hard enough in the NFL, but having to come in and replace a future hall of famer certainly adds a lot of pressure on these young guys coming right out of college. Surprisingly, Henery didn’t do all that bad last year. In fact, he managed make 89.9% of his field goals setting an NFL all-time record amongst rookie kickers throughout the years of the NFL.
Henery was asked to attempt 27 field goals in his rookie campaign, and missed just three of them which all came during the week 3 loss vs. the San Francisco 49ers. There’s not much room for error in the NFL, and if Henery would have made those three kicks, the Eagles would’ve of course won the game, and they would’ve made the playoffs.
Even though Henery did miss those three field goal attempts, he was able to knock down his longest field goal of the season, out 51-yards during the week 16 matchup vs. division nemesis Dallas Cowboys.
Henery, now entering his second season, had the offseason to correct those few errors he endured last season. Henery was acknowledged as Nebraska’s most accurate kicker in college history, knocking down field goals left and right, once drilling a kick from 57 yards out to lead his team to a 40-31 victory vs. Colorado Buffaloes. He finished up the season similar to last year making 89.5% of his kicks on the year.
When Henery came in, the pressure was also on his holder on special team’s punter Chas Henry. They both came in; unfamiliar to the NFL having not kicked or held in a single game, but they managed to make it work over the course of the 2011 season. If Henery keeps this up, and improves, he will be heading to the pro bowl sooner, than later.