As the Denver Broncos consider what to do in order to get the franchise going in the right direction, new head coach Sean Payton and the rest of the organization are going to have to consider some big changes.
One of those changes could be at the kicker position. Though kickers are often an afterthought in the grand scheme of things, the Broncos have one that has been around since 2014. Brandon McManus ranks second in team history in points scored.
Only two kickers (Mason Crosby, Justin Tucker) have been with their current team longer than McManus has been in Denver. But could that time be coming to an end?
The Broncos need to, at the very least, bring in some strong competition for their long-time kicker.
McManus didn't exactly have a great 2022 season, missing eight field goals and two extra points. He only made 77.8 percent of his field goals and he had five misses from 50 yards or more. McManus originally earned his job in Denver due to his leg strength but for his career, he's made just 40 of his 72 field-goal attempts from 50 yards or more.
In addition, he carries a $4.9 million cap number in 2023. If the Broncos were to cut him prior to June 1, the team would save $2.5 million in cap space. But if they wait until after June 1, that number jumps to $3.7 million, making the idea of moving on from him a very real one.
But if the Broncos are going to do that, they first need to find a replacement. Looking at the free-agent market, the options there are not any more appealing than just keeping McManus. But there are a few options the team could look at in the draft with either a late-round pick or perhaps the Broncos could be fortunate enough to sign one of them as an undrafted free agent since kickers often go without being selected.
Potential Brandon McManus replacements for Broncos
Harrison Mevis, Missouri
Known as the "Thiccer Kicker" due to his size at 5-foot-11 and 236 pounds, Harrison Mevis has a booming leg and will almost certainly get a look at the next level.
His brother, Andrew, had a solid college career at Fordham and Iowa State before being signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars last year as an undrafted rookie. Andrew was cut early on after struggling in training camp but Harrison has a bigger leg and more upside.
During his college career at Missouri, Mevis made 84.9 percent of his career field goals and he never missed an extra point. He ranks No. 2 all-time in SEC history behind only Evan McPherson, the star kicker of the Cincinnati Bengals, in career kicking percentage.
Mevis set high school records before coming to Missouri where he set a school record for the most career field goals from 50 yards or more. He was also a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza Award in each of his three seasons with the Tigers.
Putting the powerful leg of Mevis into the thin air of Denver could be an idea that the Broncos' brass really likes.