Jets free agent kicker Ross Martin doesn’t lack confidence Dan Leberfeld

****I wrote this story at the Senior Bowl in late January . . .

An NFL team looking for a new placekicker not intimidated by longer extra points should consider picking Duke’s Ross Martin in the draft.

This past season wasn’t a great year for NFL kickers.

With a new rule forcing them to kick extra points from 31 yards, NFL placekickers missed 71 point-after touchdowns (PATs), the most since 1977. According to Sports Illustrated, from 2010-14, before implementation of the new rule, kickers missed just 37 PATs. Missed PATs in 2015 led to some kickers getting cut in-season, such as Houston’s Randy Bullock. And New England might have lost the AFC Championship Game due to a missed PAT by Stephen Gostkowski. A missed PAT early in the contest forced a two-point conversion late, and the attempt failed.

Martin said at the Senior Bowl that the new extra point distance does not pose a problem for him.

“As soon as our college season ended, I’ve been doing tons of PATs from the new NFL PAT [distance], getting real comfortable with that,” Martin said. “I’ve have made that my routine. I like it because I’m a very consistent kicker. A lot of guys who aren’t as consistent, it exposes them.

“There were a lot of missed PATs this year. A lot of kickers lost their job over that. Me, having that consistently repeatable motion, I think that is a feather in my cap and something I can bring to the table.”

Martin helped his draft stock by booming a 60-yard field goal in Wednesday’s practice with myriad NFL general managers, scouts, and coaches looking on.

The Solon, Ohio-native certainly doesn’t lack confidence.

“I think I’ve shown I’m an elite field goal kicker,” Martin said. “Any kick that is asked of me, from close ones, PATs – a lot of PATs were missed this year. Just the consistency from close or far. Hit a 56-yarder (Tuesday), a 60-yarder (Wednesday). We had an opportunity to do some kickoffs, and the ones I hit went out of the end zone. I’m showing coaches I can do it all. I can compete with all the other NFL starting kickers.”