April 22nd, 2009
Here is the break down for the NFL 2009 Draft for the NFC South.
1) Atlanta Falcons: K Jason Elam, P – Michael Koenan . Elam had a fantastic year hitting 93.5 percent on his field goals with a long of 50 yards. Elam does not do kickoffs because Koenan handles them, Koenan had a 40 yard average and a 37 yard net average. Although his numbers may not show, Koenan had a franchise tag placed on him and signed a one year 2.48 million dollar contract. It’s safe to say he will be Falcon for another year. Elam is classic when it comes to kicking, as well as clutch. Expect the Falcons to maybe pick a free agent to help lighten the load early on.
2) Carolina Panthers: K – Rhys Lloyd & John Kasay , P – Jason Baker. Lloyd was used primarily as a kickoff specialist. And he is the best at it in the NFL with 30 touch-backs. Kasay hit 90% on field goals with a long of 50, Kasay has been a stud; one of my favorite kickers all-time. Between him and Lloyd the Panthers are set in the kicking game. Baker had a 44 yard average and a 37 yard net. Panthers could possibly pick up a punter to push Baker, but with three specialist on the roster, don’t expect to much movement.
3) New Orleans Saints: K – Garrett Hartley, P – Glenn Pakulak. Hartley had a perfect season last year, only because he played 8 games. He is expected to be the starter and his job to loose. But after last years early season woes at kicking, expect the Saints to find a solid kicker via free agency. Pakulak has done well and helped solidify the special teams for the Saints. Some key punts late in the season have added confidence to the punting game. The Saints have some great young specialists that can be great for years to come. I still think the Saints front office will be watching we a close eye due to the woes of former players over the last couple of years.
4) Tampa Bay Bucanneers: K- Matt Bryant, P Josh Bidwell. Bryant hit 84% of his field goals and had a 62.9 yard kickoff average. Bryant had a tough year off the field, dealing with the loss of his 3-year old son, but still performed well. Bryant has steadily worked himself into the elite kicking group in the NFL. Bidwell, had a 44.5 yard average and a 37 yard net average. A terrific angle directional punter, has posted some solid numbers over the years. Look for the Bucs to add a free agent as insurance.
David Buehler, Kicker, USC 6-2 230lbs
From the outsdie looking in, you would think Buehler would be a shoe in on draft day. I still think he can get drafted, his performance at the combine and late season misses may have hurt his stock to be a every game field goal kicker for now. His power speaks for itself, his kickoffs have now become legendary. I heard them during USC home games and I am based out of San Diego! (48 touchbacks / 55% ratio) But his short game is another matter. Rumors have been flying, about how his missed every kick from 50 yards and on at the NFL Combine. BUT he did show he is an athlete, 4.55 40 at the combine and 25 reps of 225, unheard of for a kicker. Also I am unsure about how he will handle weather and pressure. Playing for USC he never had a opportunity to kick under pressure situation, and last time I checked I cant remember the last time it rained in SoCal. Look for Buehler to get drafted in the late rounds, or picked quickly as a free agent.
Video of Buehler:
Look for more every day from www.kickingsystem.com