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Notes: More On Nugent; Kelly may be next; First Round Tight End Success

Nugent Nuggets:

Nugent is a career 79 percent (79-for-100) field goal kicker who has attempted just nine kicks, making four, in the last two seasons. In his defense, two were blocked and the other was an attempt after he strained his quad in the opening game of the 2008 season. Nugent has made seven game-tying or go-ahead kicks in the fourth quarter or overtime in his career. In his only playoff appearance, Nugent was 3-for-3 with a long of 37 yards in a  37-16 loss to the Patriots in January of 2007.

Writer’s take:  We needed at least one more kicker before going into camp and it’s good to see Nugent getting a shot close to home. He was 78 percent, 89 percent and 80 percent in his three full seasons of work and still has the leg strength to hit from long range.  

Kelly in Contact’s Geoff Hobson blogs that there is still mutual interest between the Bengals and tight end Reggie Kelly. Much like Bobbie Williams earlier this offseason, Kelly still wants to play, and he wants to play in Cincinnati. While Jermaine Gresham will certainly be penciled in as the opening day starter, Kelly still has a lot to offer as both a blocker and a mentor to the young duo of Gresham and Chase Coffman. Gresham couldn’t have a better mentor for his first year or two in Kelly, a deeply religious man who plays with the heart of a gladiator. Kelly’s physicality as a blocker has always been an X factor in protecting quarterback Carson Palmer and springing the running game. “There’s the fun side of football and then there’s what I do. The dirty work,” Kelly said with a laugh. “But I like the excitement, too.  I watch SportsCenter, too, and I like to watch guys catch touchdown passes and make big plays like this kid. I would play a backup role and be a mentor, but my mindset would be that I can still start. I’ll always have that mindset that I can start.” In his Bengals career, Kelly has played in 90 games catching 115 passes for 928 yards and three touchdowns while earning a reputation as one of the teams unsung heroes. If things shape up as early indications would suggest, the team will have Gresham, Coffman and Kelly are our opening day tight ends, we will have a trio that took zero snaps in 2009.  

First-Round Tight End Numbers In the guessing game that is the NFL Draft, high-profile busts are always a fear. With tight ends, however, the failure rate seems much less frequent than other positions.  See for yourself with this list of all 15 tight ends drafted in the first round since 2000 and their career numbers:  

2000 – Bubba Franks, Green Bay, 14th overall 262 receptions, 2,347 yards, 9.0 yards per catch, 32 touchdowns

2000 – Anthony Becht, NY Jets, 27th overall 185-1,511, 8.2 YPC, 21 TDs

2001 – Todd Heap, Baltimore, 31st overall 427-4,893, 11.5 YPC, 36 TDs

2002 – Jeremy Shockey, NY Giants, 14th overall 469-5,280, 11.3 YPC, 30 TDs 2

002 – Daniel Graham, New England, 21st overall 204-2,317, 11.4 YPC, 24 TDs

2002 – Jerramy Stevens, Seattle, 28th overall 199-2,174, 10.9 YPC, 22 TDs

2003 – Dallas Clark, Indianapolis, 24th overall 356-4,188, 11.8 YPC, 41 TDs

2004 – Kellen Winslow, Cleveland, 6th overall 296-3,343, 11.3 YPC, 16 TDs

2004 – Ben Watson, New England, 32nd overall 167-2,102, 12.6 YPC, 20 TDs

2005 – Heath Miller, Pittsburgh, 30th overall 244-2,721 11.2 YPC, 27 TDs

2006 – Vernon Davis, San Francisco, 6th overall 181-2,097 11.6 YPC, 22 TDs

2006 – Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville, 28th overall 123-1,524, 12.4 YPC, 7 TDs

2007 – Greg Olsen, Chicago, 31st overall 153-1,577, 10.3 YPC, 15 TDs

2008 – Dustin Keller, NY Jets, 30th overall 93-1,057, 11.4 YPC, 5 TDs

2009 – Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit, 20th overall 30-346, 11.5 YPC, 2 TDs

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