Panthers sign cult-hero kicker as undrafted free agent

After the draft this weekend, the Panthers made the call to bring in some competition for their specialists group. Specifically, the team made the call to sign undrafted free-agent kicker Harrison Mevis or as he was better known at Missouri, the “Thicker Kicker,” according to Joe Person of The Athletic.

Mevis, earning his nickname due to his 5-foot-11, 243 pound stature, served as the Tigers primary kicker for the last four years. Over his four-year collegiate career, Mevis made 147-of-148 extra point attempts while converting 86-of-103 (83.5%) of his field goals attempts.

He gained popularity after his first two seasons with the team, in which he made all 69 extra points that he attempts and missed only 5-of-45 field goal attempts. Over his final two years in Columbia, though, Mevis missed six kicks in each season. Some of his recent struggles with accuracy come from the team’s expanded trust in his range. Mevis was known for his big leg, making 12 successful kicks over 50 yards. He even booted a game-winning 61-yarder as time expired to avoid overtime and walk off a ranked Kansas State team in his senior year.

In Carolina, he arrives to provide competition to the Panthers kicker of the past two years, Eddy Pineiro. Pineiro is entering the second year of a two-year contract he earned after converting 33 of 35 field goal attempts in his first season with the team in 2022. Pineiro has an 89 conversion percentage in his career and is known for having a big leg himself, topping out at 56 yards in the NFL. After starting his career a perfect 5-for-5 from over 50 yards, Carolina tested him this year when he made 5-of-7.

Still, after seeing Pineiro miss four field goals last year and five extra points over the last two, it appears they find it useful to bring in a bit of competition. Pineiro reportedly was not in attendance for Carolina’s voluntary minicamp last week, per Person, so bringing in some added competition may be intended to light a fire under Pineiro and get him back and working on his craft.

Not only is Mevis being signed by the Panthers as an undrafted free agent, though, but he’s also being signed to a multi-year deal. So, it appears that he will get a real chance to earn the kicking job. Regardless, Mevis will come into camp looking to show the NFL that he can kick in the big leagues.

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