Jake Moody

49ers training camp battle: Kicker competition heating up

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HENDERSON, Nev. -- The rotation between 49ers kickers Zane Gonzalez and rookie Jake Moody has been nothing less than consistent, but there only is one spot available on San Francisco's 53-man roster.

After using the No. 99 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft on Moody, there seems to be little doubt the Michigan product automatically will be the one to get the job. Gonzalez, however, is not going down without a good fight.

On the first unofficial depth chart released by the 49ers' public relations department, the position of kicker lists “Jake Moody or Zane Gonzalez.”

The seven-year veteran has looked solid at camp, with a near-perfect record. Gonzalez successfully sent the ball between the uprights on kicks that range from chip shots to attempts over 60 yards. Moody has done the same.

The competition provides a unique situation for both kickers with a friendly, yet competitive relationship.

“It’s awesome,” Moody said after one training camp practice. “Zane has been great to me as a vet that’s played multiple years for multiple teams. He’s got a lot of experience, lots of knowledge. So just being able to come in here and be able to learn from a guy like that has been pretty cool.”

Maybe the one difference between the two is that when Moody makes attempts from 60 yards and beyond, the ball clears the goalposts by plenty. The rookie has yet to attempt a 70-yard field goal, but it wouldn’t be surprising if coach Kyle Shanahan called for it at some point during the season based on the attempts during training camp.

Maybe Sunday, under the bright lights of the preseason opener, one kicker will stand out over the other. Or maybe not. The two kickers will not face inclement weather during the game while playing in an indoor stadium. The unique winds inside Levi’s Stadium, however, could prove to be a challenge.

Until then, the battle will unfold with a slight edge to Moody.

Long Snapper Taylor Pepper and punter Mitch Wishnowsky are locked into their contracts for the long haul which only helps with consistency for both kickers as they compete for a roster spot.

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