Breaking: Packers sign kicker Zachary Ramirez


Zachary (Brown) Ramirez

Ted Thompson, you surprise me … but not … that’s because he went out today and signed undrafted free agent Zachary Ramirez (who was known as Zachary Brown while at Portland state, but whose legal name is Ramirez).

The signing clearly puts Mason Crosby and Giorgio Tavecchio on notice, don’t you think?

He was originally signed last April by the Seattle Seahawks and was picked up today by the Packers, clearly because Thompson is not satisfied with veteran Crosby and Tavecchio, the two kickers who have been battling it out in camp.

Here is how Gil Brandt of describes Ramirez on his draft evaluation:

"As one of the top kickers at the Football Championship Subdivision level, Ramirez was 17-for-18 on field goal attempts during the 2012 season. At the Super Regional Combine held in Dallas on April 7-8, Ramirez missed just one field goal attempt, which came from 40-plus yards out. Ramirez’s leg strength makes him a draftable player."

However, Ramirez was not drafted by any of the 32 NFL teams in this past April’s draft.

Here’s his personal information posted to the Portland State Vikings website:

#19 Zach Brown

Position: K
Height: 6-1
Weight: 200
Class: Senior
Hometown: Keizer, OR
High School: McNary

2011 Honors
1st team AP, AFCA, Sports Network, Walter Camp and CSN All-American
1st team AFCA All-American
1st team All-Big Sky Conference
Fred Mitchell Award Finalist
Two-time Big Sky Conference Player of the Week
2010 Honors
Honorable All-Big Sky Conference
Two-time Big Sky Conference Player of the Week
PSU Special Teams Player of the Year
2009 Honors
2nd team All-Big Sky Conference
Two-time Big Sky Conference Player of the Week

Zach Brown feature – August 9, 2012

Zach Brown feature, Portland Tribune – August 16, 2012

The nation’s best kicker at the FCS level entering 2012… has set a school record for field goals every season he has been a Viking with 18 as a freshman, tieing that with 18 as a sophomore, then 24 as a junior… easily the most talented kicker in Portland State history… has a big leg, capable of kicking well over 50-yard field goals… has six of PSU’s 11 all-time kicks of 50+ yards… holds the career record for field goals (60), nearly doubling the number two man (Mike Erickson, 32) and still has a season to play… holds 10 Portland State kicking records… a top NFL prospect… also serves as backup punter.

Put together the finest kicking season in school history, making 24-27 field goals to break his own PSU record and lead the nation (2.18 pg)… was named a consensus first team All-American by AP, the AFCA, The Sports Network, Walter Camp and College Sporting News… also first team All-Big Sky Conference and twice won Big Sky Special Teams Player of the Week honors… a Fred Mitchell Award Finalist, for excellence in kicking and community service… his 89% field goal conversion rate is also a new school record… made 16 field goals in a row including his last six of 2010 and first 10 of 2011 to set a school record… finally missed wide left from 53 yards at Montana (10/15)… of his three misses on the season, all were from 46 yards or longer… made eight in a row to end the season… twice hit from 50+ yards for the third season in a row… his 101 points scored is a new PSU record for a kicker… his kickoff distance decreased due only to strategic pooch kicking during the season… the Vikings recovered two of his pooch kicks and one of his on-side kicks… when called on, he boomed it, with 13 touchbacks… had perfect kicking games of three or more against Montana State (10/8) – 3 of 3, Eastern Washington (10/29) – 3 of 3, and Weber State (11/19) – 4 of 4.

Handled all of the kicking duties once again, tieing his own record for field goals in a season (18) at PSU… broke the school career record for field goals in just 20 games… now has 36 in two seasons… tied for third in the nation in field goals made (1.64 per game)… ranked 28th in the nation in scoring (7.18 points per game)… made two field goals from 50+ yards… named Big Sky Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after hitting three field goals in the season opener at Arizona State (9/4)… made kicks from 43, 53 and 47 yards in that game… his 53-yarder tied for second-longest in school history… the following week he was Big Sky Special Teams Player of the Week again after making four field goals at UC Davis (9/11)… also had three extra-points and a two-point conversion for 17 total points in the game… Coach Nigel Burton had such confidence in his leg that he was given an opportunity to tie the game on the final play against Weber State (10/23) from 65 yards. His kick was down the middle, but fell just a couple yards short… finished the season making six field goals in a row… had four games of at least three field goals made… 23-23 on extra points… averaged 64.2 yards on kickoffs with 10 touchbacks… selected as the PSU Special Teams Player of the Year by his teammates… heading into the season was named Preseason All-Big Sky Conference and preseason second team All-American by The Sports Network.

In his first season became perhaps the best kicker in the Big Sky Conference, setting a PSU record for field goals in a season (18)… was expected to be a backup kicker and wide receiver, but took over as starting kicker right away… had the best field goal kicking season in PSU history, making 18 of 25… three of his misses were from 52 yards or more… had a streak of nine straight field goals made and made 14 of his last 16, with the misses being from 52+ yards…. led the Big Sky Conference and ranked sixth in the nation with 1.64 field goals made per game… now has two of PSU’s seven 50+ yard field goals, making a 52-yarder against Southern Oregon (9/12) and a 50-yarder against Northern Colorado (10/10) in the snow… was a perfect 21-21 on extra points and averaged an excellent 65.5 yards per kickoff… was twice named Big Sky Conference Player of the Week after the wins over Southern Oregon and Northern Colorado… also caught two passes at wide receiver against Montana (9/19)… a redshirt in 2008.

A four-year letterwinner in football, he also competed in basketball, track and soccer at McNary High School… after starting the season strong as a receiver in 2007, a separated shoulder limited him to kicking and punting duties in the second half of the season… an elite soccer player as well, he was a two-time state champion in club soccer.

Born December 3, 1989… has two brothers, Josh and Nico… Community Health major… hobbies are working out, dancing, bowling, XBox, watching TV, camping, going to the beach and meeting people.

Here’s a video of Ramirez kicking by himself. He makes one kick from 70 yards. Clearly, he has a live leg.

Here’s a vine posting by Green Bay Press Gazette’s Wes Hodkiewicz on Twitter this morning. It’s of Ramirez reporting to the Packers’ practice:

And here’s a comment from Mike Vandermause: