April 24th, 2009
One day and counting till the 2009 NFL Draft. I have to say after hours of research and work reviewing kickers and punters, I have never felt more nervours in my life. Teams, genernal managers, players and fans all take this as the second season to the NFL. There is a lot at stake and lifes change due to this 2 -day draft.
One thing I want to point out as well. This may be for more blog entries later down the road. I feel there are not many scouts, coaches and GM’s that know how to scout kickers and punters. We have see plenty of draft day busts with the latest being Justin Medlock from UCLA. You would think the kickers that are entered in the NFL combine are the best kickers in college. That is not the case. They just got invited for whatever reason, recommendation, stats, etc. Teams need to do their research if the want to find a quality kicker. From a technical perspective I think there are only a handful of coaches that I know that can breakdown a kickers approach. Combining that by looking at their mental makeup and where they kicked are key factors of researching a kicker. For example, on paper, David Buehler from USC, is a good kicker if not the best in college football this past season. But, he never had a pressure kick and does not kick in cold weather. Two of the most important things an NFL kicker must be able to handle.
I dont think adminstrators and coaches from NFL teams know what they are looking for in a kicker. I remember one scout telling me I had good “pop” on the ball when I was coming out of college. Every kicker who is trying to make the NFL had good “pop” on the ball. Breadown my technique if you can.
I also think they need to expand or have a different combine for kickers. Half of the events they perform at the NFL Combine are not needed to evaulate a kicker.
I hope to see some kickers get drafted this weekend and I hope that the teams did their homework and looked beyond the front line of kickers. I think there are some solid choices if you look close enough. Not to mention a solid group of free agent kickers.