After going unselected during the draft in a weekend that only consisted of one kicker being picked, Jose Borregales signed to the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a priority free agent. This is the second draft in a row where the Lou Groza Award winner, given to the best kicker in the nation, has gone undrafted. Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia, also went undrafted last year, but ended signing with the Indianapolis Colts shortly after the draft and won the starting placekicking duties on his way to a strong rookie season.
Todd McShay said it best: “I’m shocked Jose Borregales isn’t the 1st kicker off the board.”— Embrik Eyles (@EmbrikEyles) May 1, 2021
Borregales transferred from Florida International University this past year, after FIU defeated the U in Marlins Park. He then made the most of his time on the Canes.
In Miami’s second game of the 2020 season, Borregales nailed his career high 57-yard FG against Louisville, with room to spare. With all his records already collected at FIU, it took him until just his second game to tie Miami’s school record for longest kick. The 57-yarder singlehandedly put Jose’s name on the map for NFL scouts.
The success continued throughout the season as Borregales proved he could do it all by nailing 20-of-22 FGs (90.9% field goal accuracy ranked number one in the NCAA for players who attempted at least 20 field goals) and converted all 37 XPs. The 96.6% kicking efficiency was a marked improvement for Miami. It must also be noted his kicks were pretty much perfect fundamentally, as nearly every attempt went straight through the uprights. Borregales ended up winning the Lou Groza Award for the sensational season.
Every NFL GM should be fired for not drafting Jose Borregales.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) May 1, 2021
Miami kicker Jose Borregales goes undrafted. He will be an absolute steal for whatever team takes him as an undrafted free agent after winning the Lou Groza Award as college football's top kicker.— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) May 1, 2021
After a Florida kicker, Evan McPherson, was selected in the fifth round, ESPN analyst said he was “shocked” that Borregales was not the first kicker off the board. Borregales has not played much in cold weather situations or in high pressure situations in front of a crowd - namely due to fan restrictions during COVID-19. He will stay in the warm weather on the west coast of Florida in Tampa. The Super Bowl champs currently have 2009 Mr. Irrelevant (last pick of NFL Draft), Ryan Succop, who was a reliable option last year. However, Succop had knee surgery in 2019 and was subsequently released by the Titans so Borregales is a steady insurance option and can learn from a veteran kicker.
Jaelan Phillips, Gregory Rousseau, Brevin Jordan, Quincy Roche, and Borregales are all now officially #ProCanes after a long draft weekend.