Georgia place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (98) prepares to kick a field goal. The Georgia Bulldogs face the Baylor Bears in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2020 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the end of the first half Georgia leads Baylor 19-0. (Photo/Ryan Cameron, rcameron@randb.com)

The Indianapolis Colts signed former Georgia kicker Rodrigo Blankenship as a free agent following the conclusion of the 2020 NFL Draft. The Lou Groza Award winner went undrafted after speculation that he could be the first kicker selected in the draft.

Blankenship joins former Bulldog quarterback Jacob Eason, who was selected in the fourth round by the Colts.

At Georgia, Blankenship was a model of accuracy and consistency. He did not miss an extra point in 200 attempts with the Bulldogs and was a career 82.5% field goal kicker. Blankenship saw a peak in his accuracy in 2017 when he converted on 87% of his attempts.

Blankenship became Georgia’s all-time leading scorer in 2019 with 440 career points. He scored a career-high 127 points in his senior season for the Bulldogs, going 27-for-33. He finished 80-for-97 in his four years on field goals and a career-long of 55 yards.

Indianapolis gave Blankenship a $20,000 signing bonus, a hefty price for an undrafted free-agent kicker.

The Colts are looking at an Adam Vinatieri-size void if the future Hall of Famer decides to hang it up after his career-worst season was cut short due to injury. Indianapolis is taking a preemptive measure by bringing in Blankenship to compete with Vinatieri’s 2019 replacement, Chase McLaughlin.

Vinatieri is the NFL’s all-time leading scorer with 2,673 points in his distinguished 24-year career.

McLaughlin appeared in four games with the Colts last season, connecting on five of his six field-goal attempts and all 11 of his extra-point attempts. He has a career 78.3% success rate on field goals.

Blankenship has the statistical edge when comparing his numbers at Georgia and McLaughlin’s at Illinois. McLaughlin converted on 74.6% of his field goals in college, 7.9 percentage points lower than Blankenship.

Blankenship and McLaughlin will compete against each other in training camp for the single roster spot occupied by a kicker. Indianapolis was quick with its signing of the former Georgia kicker following the draft, indicating the organization thinks highly of him.

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