49ers’ Jake Moody & Taybor Pepper Are Forming a ‘Super’ Connection

San Francisco 49ers, Jake Moody

Getty Future San Francisco 49ers kicker Jake Moody attempting a kick at Michigan.

When the San Francisco 49ers drafted Jake Moody at the end of the third round, Taybor Pepper learned which collegiate kicker he would be snapping the ball to during training camp and potentially for years to come after that.

After spending his entire Niners career snapping the ball to Robbie Gould, Pepper decided to break in his relationship with Moody not via hazing or formal team activities but instead by treating him to Mexican food and the NBA Finals.

“Snapper – Kicker Mexican food bonding and NBA Finals,” Pepper wrote. “Tonight’s menu: La Vic’s super burrito with orange sauce. Should we start a Bay Area taco/burrito review series?”

While only time will tell what the future holds for Moody and Pepper, the 49ers’ media department would be foolish not to take the Michigan State product up on his offer to produce a digital taco/burrito review series, as what better way to introduce fans to San Francisco’s new kicker than a culinary tour through the Bay Area?

Brian Schneider Explains SF’s Kicker Evaluation Process

Addressing the media on May 31st about all things special teams, Brian Schneider was asked about how the 49ers evaluated the kicker position heading into the 2023 NFL draft and noted just how in-depth the team got in finding the long-term replacement for Robbie Gould.

“That’s absolutely the toughest question. I think we evaluated 27 kickers coming out of college, so that’s where you always start with us,” Schneider said via 49ers Webzone. “You go through the tape and then our guys do a great job. [General manager] John [Lynch] and all the scouts, they give you the rundown and so we’re starting kind of from square one. You look off the silent tape and you start to build your list and then you whittle that down and then ultimately you have to go work them out I think to see everything live and that’s the question you’re trying to get answered.

“And it starts with the consistency of what people say about them, so before I even meet them, everyone in our building that’s looked at them, I hear what they think, say and then when you go there to the schools, you listen to all the coaches, the weight coaches, any assistants, other players, you just try to find out and then ultimately you have to sit with them and just have get a feel for that.”

Asked what round he personally believed Moody should have been drafted in, Schneider wouldn’t say, as that’s not his specific job, but he didn’t say that, of the 27 kickers he evaluated, Moody was the guy he felt strongest about.

“After that I told him, I don’t care where you take him, this is the guy. I felt that strongly about him. And so again, that’s not my job to figure out where we should draft him. I just know I really like the talent, I really love the kid. I love everything about him, so to me, it was like I think this is the best and they have to figure that out.”

The San Francisco 49ers Have Earned Early Kicking Returns

On May 31st, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco kept a close eye on the 49ers’ kickers during open practice and noted that, by his count, Moody had a perfect afternoon, whereas his chief competition, Zane Gonzalez, wasn’t so lucky.

“49ers kicker update Jake Moody made FG attempts from 33, 38, 43 and 53, while Zane Gonzalez missed from 43 and made kicks from 33, 38 and 48 yards,” Maiocco wrote.

Though there’s still plenty of time before the 49ers have to make a decision on which kicker makes the initial 53-man roster, it’s encouraging to see that the 49ers’ investment in Moody, which plenty of outside observers chastised in April, is paying early returns.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments