There is a chance that we may not see any kicker or punter get drafted this year in the NFL Draft but its not stopping me from writing about the possibilities.
Overall, not a strong class for kickers or punters, but with the kickoff rule change it could change how teams draft place-kickers.
Last year in 2010, there were three punters drafted one of which was on the TKS Radio Show this past week, Zoltan Mesko from Michigan. The others were, Brent Bowden (Bucaneers) and Matt Dodge (Giants). There have been six punters drafted in the last two years, and I think maybe one will get drafted this year.
Over the last three years, there have been four kickers drafted, including none last year. In 2009, David Buehler and the last player drafted Ryan Succop. The last few years have not been stellar for draft potential kicker –besides the punters.
First, here are some kickers I think that could get drafted. After doing research via -videos, articles, blogs and numerous arenas here are my thoughts of who and when they could get drafted.
1) Alex Henery – Nebraska
2) Kai Forbarth – UCLA
3) Dan Bailey – Oaklahoma State
1) Chas Henry — Florida
2) Ryan Donahue –Iowa
As for the kickers, Aex Henery he is my number one choice to get drafted. Although he did not win the Lou Groza (not sure why he didn’t) he is the best of the bunch. If you watch the following videos you can hear his own head coach tell you about his character and to me that says a ton. When you get to the NFL every kicker has power and Henery has that of course but can you handle the pressure of kicking with 50,000 plus fans every week? He has shown that easily. His technique looks great, occasionally with these great athletes, you don’t see a much of a follow thru or he changes his rhythm, with Alex he is consistent and fluid.
Video of Alex Henery kicking:
Video of Coach and Teammate talking about him:
Not to far behind is Kai Fobath from UCLA. Another stellar college kicking career here, countless game winners and remarkable stats. The knock with Kai is his kickoffs, he had a 55-yard kickoff in the Senior Bowl and missed a 44 yard attempt which will not help his draft status, and he has to prove he can kick in cold weather. But again with the new kickoff rule a few teams may try to take a chance on him in the later rounds. Our guess is that he will sign right after the draft as a free agent because of his kickoffs. I know that sounds crazy but with the career he has had to just sign as a free agent would be nuts. I would make a Facebook fan page called “Please Draft Kai.” I think his technique is not as fluid as Henery from Nebraksa and if he has a strong leg of field goals he has to work on his mechanics on kickoffs.
Here is video of him warming up before a big kick:
As for Punters: Chas Henry from Florida might be the one pick. Great size and strength who can also kick and hold for field goals. Did not get much film on him but is known as a three step punter, which many coaches will not like in the NFL. He has all the attributes for a NFL punter tall and versatile and won the Ray Guy Award in 2010.
Here is some not so great footage of him kicking:
The other punter we think that may have an outside chance is Ryan Donahue from Iowa. A finalist for the Ray Guy Award this past season with a 44.6 yard average. Although most analysts think he has great mechanics, there is still some room for improvement. Overall, very reliable and another great character athlete. Possible late round or free agent.
Here is clip of Ryan punting —
Clip from the NFL Combine — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2IIHoG7_jM
One thought on “NFL Draft 2011: Specialists – Kicker & Punters”
There’s definately a lot to learn about this subject.
I really like all the points you made.