— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 28, 2018
Former UNM kicker Jason Sanders is heading to Miami after being selected by the Dolphins during the 7th round (229th overall pick) of the 2018 NFL Draft.
This is a big deal for the football program as New Mexico hadn’t had a player selected since Erik Cook who, coincidentally, was also the 229th pick in 2010. Sanders is the first Lobo kicker drafted since 1976.
One of Sanders’ highlights as a Lobo happened during the second quarter of the 2016 New Mexico Bowl when he completed a 52-yard field goal even with 26mph wind. This was the same year when his field goal percentage was at 92.31 by successfully making 12 out of 13 attempts. After four years at UNM, but only three years kicking, his field goal percentage ended at 71.43 percent (25 out of 35).
Some Miami fans were surprised by the selection of Sanders since University of Florida kicker Eddy Pineiro, a Miami native, was still available. However, Miami getting a kicker was not too shocking as the Dolphins recently lost Cody Parkey to the Chicago Bears. About an hour after Sanders’ selection, Pineiro announced he was signing with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent.
The Dolphins went 6-10 during the 2017 NFL season. This record put them in third place in the American Football Conference behind the New England Patriots and the Buffalo bills. Only the New York Jets finished behind the Dolphins.