2020 NFL Draft Profile: Wyoming K Cooper Rothe
Will the Cowboys kicker get a shot to contribute in the pros?
A lot of teams are always in need of a kicker.
It’s always a pleasant surprise when a specialist gets selected in the NFL Draft and, as it happens, this year’s draft class has more than a few intriguing possibilities. One of those is Wyoming’s Cooper Rothe, a former Lou Groza Award finalist who had a career to remember in Laramie.
Height – 5′ 11″
Weight – 175 pounds
Wingspan – 69″
Arm Length – 28 1/4″
Hand Size – 8″
40-Yard Dash – 4.87 seconds
From day one, Rothe did a lot to stabilize a position that had been shaky at best and non-existent at worst for the Pokes in the several years preceding his arrival. He connected on 76.6% of field goal tries and missed just four of 169 extra point attempts from 2016 to 2019, the former of which compares favorably to Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, the consensus number one specialist in this year’s draft class.
The big question that remains is just how effective Rothe is from long range because, if there’s one blemish on his resume, it’s that he was inconsistent from year to year. In 2019, he converted his lone try from beyond 50 yards — a 53-yard success against Georgia State in the Arizona Bowl — but he made just 4-of-9 kicks from 40-plus yards overall. By contrast, he was 5-of-6 on such tries in his Groza campaign back in 2018. Considering the likelihood that he will no longer be kicking at altitude, the sooner he can prove his reliability, the better.
Good kickers are hard to find in the NFL (just ask a Chicago Bears fan) and it seems like Rothe has as good a chance as anyone after Blankenship to hear his name called. It’s more likely, however, that he’ll get scooped up as a priority free agent after the draft concludes and will be given every opportunity to win a job.