The Jets recently signed kicker Austin Seibert to their practice squad and he already saw action in the game against the Dallas Cowboys. With Greg Zuerlein currently nursing a groin injury and an update not expected until Friday, he may get to see action again, so let’s break him down in more detail.
The 29-year old is listed at 5’9” and 211 pounds and was a fifth round pick out of Oklahoma in 2019. He has been the placekicker for the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals in his career so far, making 90 percent of his extra point attempts and 80 percent of his field goals.
Seibert was a three-star recruit out of high school and headed to Oklahoma, where he served both as their kicker and punter for four seasons from 2015 to 2018.
During that time, he was an all-Big 12 second team selection twice and a first-teamer in his final season, when he was also the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year. He made just under 80 percent of his field goal attempts in his career, but was trending upwards with 81 percent in his junior year and just under 90 percent as a senior.
Seibert was selected by Cleveland in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL draft, and he made the Browns roster out of camp. He missed just four field goals in his first season but he also miss five extra points. They lost patience with him and let him go after the opener in 2020 when he missed two kicks in a blowout loss.
The Bengals picked Seibert up but he only played in four games for them in 2020, making six of nine field goals. He then lost out to Evan McPherson in a camp battle and was released in final cuts in 2021.
Detroit claimed Seibert and he kicked for them in 2021, although he was limited to six games due to injury. He made 10 of 12 field goals and then began the 2022 season by missing two of his first five field goals before he was released in October.
The Jets added Seibert to their practice squad last week after the injury to Zuerlein and he made his only two kicks in the Dallas game - an extra point and a 34-yard field goal.
Let’s move onto some more in-depth analysis of what Seibert brings to the table, based on in-depth research and film study.
Seibert is short but has a powerful frame. He didn’t do an athletic workout at the combine or his pro day.
Seibert’s longest field goal in the NFL is only 53 yards, and his longest kick in college was a 51-yarder. He was also 0-for-4 from beyond 40 in his sophomore season. However, he made a 63-yarder in an intra-squad scrimmage with the Lions last August. He also reportedly made a 58-yarder in the warmup before Sunday’s game.
Seibert is above the 80 percent threshold on field goals, which is what you’d like to see. However, his accuracy on extra points has been poor since he entered the NFL. With that said, he has made 25 in a row since being waived by the Browns, and he only missed one in his final two seasons in college.
Seibert hasn’t had many chances in his career to attempt clutch kicks. He had a chance to win a game against Army when he was with the Sooners, but pushed his 33-yard attempt wide with three seconds remaining. Oklahoma won with a touchdown in overtime anyway.
At the NFL level, he hasn’t had a chance to attempt any game winning or game tying kicks, although he did have a couple of big misses in a Lions-Vikings game last September. Seibert, who had already hit the upright on one attempt, had a chance to give the Lions a late 27-21 lead, but his 54-yard miss gave the Vikings the field position from which they scored the winning touchdown.
Seibert’s kickoff numbers have been underwhelming, although his touchback rate did improve to 40 percent after having been only 34 percent heading into 2022. He hasn’t allowed any touchdown returns, but has had a few returned to near midfield.
He had touchbacks on two of his three kickoffs on Sunday with the Jets. The other was a squib kick with no time remaining.
He was the only NFL player to have more than one onside kick recovered by his team in 2021.
Seibert had six tackles in his college career but so far has none at the NFL level. Here’s a play where he got hurdled.
Seibert isn’t really a viable option to handle punting duties but could certainly do it in an emergency. He was the Sooners punter for four seasons, averaging just below 42 yards per punt. He did have a 58-yarder in his freshman year.
Seibert was an all-Big 12 academic first-teamer twice and second-teamer once while in college.
He has missed time during his career due to Covid-19 and hip and groin injuries. The hip injury landed him on injured reserve in 2021.
He is a former teammate of current Jets players CJ Uzomah, Carl Lawson and Tim Boyle.
Seibert will only be a short-term replacement for Zuerlein, but he could remain with the team in case he gets hurt again before the season is over.
If he can impress them enough, there’s every chance that Seibert could be someone the Jets keep around to compete for a role on next year’s team, as he is still only 26 and obviously has a good leg if he was selected in the mid-rounds. He just needs to work on his consistency if he’s to have a future in this league.