Since the league year began we've been sharing in-depth scouting reports on each of the Jets' offseason additions. Today we conclude (unless the Jets make another signing between now and training camp) with a look at kicker Taylor Bertolet. The Jets signed Bertolet at the end of rookie mini-camp, which he was attending on a try-out basis.
The 25-year-old Bertolet is listed at 5-foot-9 and 188 pounds, and was an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M in 2016. He has never played in an NFL regular season game but saw action with the Rams in preseason.
Bertolet began his Texas A&M career as their placekicker, scoring a career-best 106 points in his first season. He made 13 of 22 field goals.
Early on in his second season, he lost the job to Josh Lambo early in the season. Lambo is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Bertolet had made just two of three field goals but remained as the kickoff specialist in 2013 and 2014.
Bertolet reclaimed his role as the kicker in 2015, making 22 of 31 field goals, and was signed by the Rams as an undrafted free agent.
He played for them in preseason, backing up Greg Zuerlein and making all four of his extra point attempts. He also kicked off five times. Predictably, he was released in final cuts and was out of the league throughout the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Bertolet signed a futures deal with Denver after the 2017 season but was released five weeks later. The Jets picked him up at the end of rookie mini-camp, which he had been attending on a try-out basis.
Bertolet's accuracy numbers have not been that great. He went over 70 percent for the only time in his final season with the Aggies and then only just.
Extra points proved even more problematic early on in his career. He missed seven as a freshman and then landed himself on Sportscenter when he missed three in one game as a sophomore to lose his job:
To his credit, he seemed to have fixed this issue in his return to the line-up, as he made all 38 of his extra points in 2015 (and four out of four in the preseason in 2016).
We know the Jets love a kicker with a big leg, since that's why Chandler Catanzaro won the job over Ross Martin last year. Bertolet led the nation with five field goals of more than 50 yards in 2016, including this 55-yarder:
There's also this impressive clip of him booting an 75-yarder on YouTube:
It's yet to be determined how Bertolet will handle the weather conditions in New Jersey, having played his college football in Texas. That could certainly be a factor in how successful he is.
In his entire college career, Bertolet only really had one clutch kick - a potential game-winner against Arkansas - and he missed it:
The Aggies won 28-21 in overtime anyway.
Although he was a kickoff specialist in college, Bertolet's numbers were not that good. He had a touchback rate of less than 50 percent in 2014 and 2015.
He did pretty well in his limited preseason action though. Although he only had one touchback, only one of his kickoffs was returned out past the 20.
Three of his kicks were fielded in the end zone with the tackle made at the 18, 16 and six-yard line respectively. The latter of those saw the return man muff the kick after misjudging the flight of the ball.
Bertolet is small and doesn't seem to be much of an athlete, but does have four tackles in his college career. Here is one, as he saves a touchdown by stopping Derrius Guice.
It still seems most likely that Cairo Santos will be the Jets' kicker this year, but Bertolet will provide him some competition in camp.
It was strange that the Jets opted to release Nick Rose to bring Bertolet aboard, given how Rose is bigger, a better athlete and arguably has a bigger leg based on what he's shown so far, in addition to real NFL experience. However, Bertolet obviously really impressed the coaches at his try-out so the team might think they've found someone with a lot of potential.
As unlikely as it may seem, it's not entirely impossible that the Jets carry two kickers - one to kick off and the other to kick field goals. That might actually be Bertolet's best chance at earning a roster spot.