Jaden Oberkrom's chances of being drafted are just about as slim as he is.
But in the words of the famed Justin Bieber, "Never say never."
Let's face it -- the NFL Draft is a toughie for kickers. Last near, no kickers were drafted. This year, there's really only one kicker on everyone's radar and that's Florida State's "Mr. Perfect" Roberto Aguayo, who seemingly believes perfection can be achieved.
"People say you can't be perfect, but in actuality, you can, because you can get a 100 on a test, like, that's being perfect." - actual quote by Roberto Aguayo
Fine, Aguayo can be Mr. Perfect. But if Aguayo is Mr. Perfect, then Oberkrom is Mr. Realistic.
Oberkrom is "Mr. Realistic" because first off, no one is perfect or ever will be perfect. You can, however, aim for perfection, which consequently results in improvement. In the case of Oberkrom's college career, he aimed for the moon, then duck-hooked and ended up hitting one of the stars.
Oberkrom had an "okay" freshman year in 2012, converting 73.3 percent of his field goal attempts, the longest being a 53-yard field goal. His PATs were perfect, too. From then on, it was clear Oberkrom would be doing this for a while.
Sophomore year, TCU went 4-8 and touchdowns were hard, so Oberkrom had to shoulder a lot of the point-scoring. He saw his field goal percentage go up to 77.8 percent and remained perfect on extra points. His one shining moment came when he hit a clutch 56-yard field goal to take the lead against Kansas State with 2:13 left in the game, but that shining moment turned into fleeting moment when Kansas State got close enough to hit their own field goal to win the game. Bummer.
His junior season was so much better though, as TCU's offense made a turnaround and started blowing out teams one after another. Oberkrom's appearances became less exciting, though, because that basically meant the Horned Frog air raiders couldn't fly into the end zone per usual. Still, he did what he had to do. Now mind you, he had a few blunders like the time he went 0-for-2 against SMU and the missed extra point against Oklahoma. But he did hit the game-winner over West Virginia and improved his field goal percentage to 81.5 percent.
Senior year, he saw even more improvement, nailing the longest field goal of his career (57 yards, tying Michael Reeder's record for longest field goal in school history) and pulling up his field goal percentage to 84 percent.
The point is this -- Oberkrom may not have been "perfect," but he consistently improved every year since he started.
Let's take a look at how that compares with Mr. Perfect Aguayo, starting them both on the same year. Oh, look at that.
Not "Mr. Perfect"
No matter what we say about Oberkrom and his accuracy going up and up, he isn't "Mr. Perfect" for explainable reasons. The thing about Oberkrom is he's great at getting distance and making the big kicks, especially when under pressure. It's the shorter distances and extra points that, instead of being automatic no-brainers, sometimes turn into "uh oh" moments.
The other downside -- Oberkrom didn't participate in TCU's Pro Day because he was "dealing with a groin issue," per Gil Brandt at NFL.com. Injuries are 0 fun, especially right before the draft. But hey, at least Oberkrom and JJ Watt have something in common.
Nonetheless, Oberkrom's talent does give him the slightest chance of going somewhere. He'll likely go in the seventh round or just be an undrafted free agent. A few teams that could consider picking up a kicker are the New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals (because why not draft another Horned Frog) and the team everyone has feelings about, the Oakland Raiders.
Oberkrom will by no means be perfect, but teams can have realistic expectations about his ability to learn and produce on the field.