NFL athletes are a different breed. The best of the best at what they do, it’s hardly surprising when you see a player like Myles Garrett shine at the NBA Celebrity game. But when it comes to kickers, they’re often overlooked and Jake Elliott is no exception.
This time last year, Jake Elliott was being bombarded with criticism after a shaky 2020 campaign. The weight of a five-year contract was hanging heavy over the Eagles kicker and many wondered whether Howie had made a mistake in paying him so much. However, one year later Elliott silenced his critics.
Rebounding from a dismal season where he converted a lowly 73% of field goal attempts, Elliott set a new career-high in FG% with 90.9%. He didn’t miss an extra point all year and eventually found his way to the Pro Bowl…where he shined for a very different reason.
Elliott has been known as a keen golfer for quite some time. His indoor trickshots during the pandemic highlighted the fact that his skills go way beyond the football field. But while chipping doesn’t require much in the way of athleticism, driving the ball certainly does.
Elliott partook in the NFL Long Drive competition and absolutely smashed it. It’s one thing seeing a video of him nuking a drive, but seeing the numbers with the help of beloved Golf YouTuber, Peter Finch, adds an entirely new perspective.
Elliott’s final attempt saw him reach a whopping 135 mph club-head speed (tour-pros average around 120) and a carry distance of 314 yards. For context, I golf most weekends and have been working really hard on my swing speed over the winter. I average around 103 mph club-head speed and carry the ball around 270-yards.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Anyone who attended the AO1 charity softball events at Citizens Bank Park will remember Elliott blasting a home-run, being one of only two players to do so.
If you go back even further, Elliott excelled at Tennis. Prior to his days as a kicker, the Memphis product was an avid Tennis player and was ranked #1 in his high school.
There’s no real timeliness to this article, but it’s just interesting. NFL Kickers are often so overlooked because their lone job doesn’t require a ton of athleticism outside of leg power. Elliott is far more than just a kicker and the fact that he seems to excel at every sport he tries speaks volumes.
It’s time to put some respect on his name.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire