Would the New York Giants really trust their 2017 placekicking job to a kid from the NAIA who has never kicked in an NFL regular season game? That remains to be seen, but right now 22-year-old Aldrick Rosas looks like he has a good chance to make that unlikely scenario become a reality.
Rosas is the only placekicker on the Giants’ roster, and has been ever since the team signed him to a reserve/futures contract.
“Aldrick has done well. He's really progressed from when we first put hands on him and started working with him,” special teams coordinator Tom Quinn said during the team’s mandatory mini-camp. “He's gotten better every day, so that's really been encouraging. He’s been consistent. Big guys we try to tighten them up a little bit and he's done really well. Very coachable. Very strong leg, and he's had good accuracy this spring.”
Southern Oregon coach Craig Howard thinks Rosas has a chance.
“I’ve coached Jeff Chandler, who kicked for the San Francisco 49ers… Chandler was the all-time leading scorer in Florida Gators history… Aldrick Rosas is a lot better kicker than the guy that I knew, I coached, that become the all-time leading scorer in Florida, went to the 49ers, then the Washington Redskins. This guy’s got a bright future, you know.”
Let’s take a closer look at Rosas as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.
2016 Season In Review
Rosas was in camp with the Tennessee Titans last season. He made all four of his extra-point attempts and his only field goal, a 33-yarder. He was, however, cut by Tennessee. No NFL team picked him up and the Giants signed him to a reserve/futures contract in January.
2017 Season Outlook
Two factors will likely determine whether or not Rosas sticks as the Giants kicker.
- How well he handles the pressure of kicking in preseason games.
- What veteran kickers become available as the regular season closes in.
“I think that you kind of check boxes as you go along. ‘Are his times in the range?’ Yes. The height, the rotation, handling the wind. The different scenarios we put him in. The next step is handling the games. So that will be the next big thing,” Quinn said. “You have to see him go out and do it in a game. You can make all the field goals you want in practice, but you have to do it in a game.”
Rosas knows that he has a “huge opportunity” with the Giants.
“I don't look at the competition. Every day I know I deserve to be here, I'm just trying to get better every day,” he said during OTAs. “Not really worried about any other outside influences or anything. As long as I can come out and compete every day I'm gonna try to come out and do my job to the best of my ability."
Rosas understands that while he has been the team’s only placekicker to this point he remains in competition for the job with kickers from around the league.
"The way I look at it is if I'm here by myself or three other guys, the whole league, all the scouts are looking.” Rosas said. “I take it like that, it's me against 31 other guys out there. Just come in every day, focus on myself, my technique, my holder/snapper and getting the job done."
Whether Rosas can convince the Giants, a team with aspirations of making a deep playoff run in 2017 to trust him with critical games on the line will be one of the fascinating stories of the preseason.