Over the previous eight offseasons, since they drafted Greg Zuerlein in the sixth round, the Rams never had to worry about their kicker. But Zuerlein is in Dallas, leaving the Rams to prepare for a kicking competition.
Sam Sloman, a seventh-round draft choice out of Miami of Ohio, Austin MacGinnis and Lirim Hajrullahu are the candidates. MacGinnis was the best kicker in the XFL, and Hajrullahu was a Canadian Football League all-star.
None have previous NFL regular-season experience.
Hajrullahu, 30, has faced more pressure kicks in the pro football than the other two.
“I’ve been in these situations,” Hajrullahu said in a conference call with the team’s beat reporters, via Jourdan Rodrigue of TheAthletic.com. “It’s nothing unusual for me. I’m just worrying about what I can control. What they do, it’s their call. . . .For myself, nothing changes: Be myself, make my kicks and be as ready as possible come training camp.”
With no on-field work in the NFL right now, though, the three are on equal footing, to steal Rodrigue’s line.
“It’s hard to obviously judge us at the moment, because it’s not like a quarterback or receiver where you can call a play, and say, ‘OK, what route do you have?’” Hajrullahu said. “For kickers, it’s a little bit different.”