Ranking the Top 10 Punters and Kickers in the 2012 NFL Draft
Nobody really talks about them, but punters and kickers are also in the 2012 NFL draft.
No, none of these guys will be first or even second-round draft picks. A few of them will be drafted, but not too many.
Yet, they are worth talking about. Special teams can make or break teams, as the 2010 San Diego Chargers showed.
These guys may not be Andrew Luck, but they are draft prospects.
And every draft prospect deserves discussion.
10. Brad Nortman, P, Wisconsin
In 2011, Brad Nortman averaged 42.2 yards per punt and dropped 19 within the 20-yard line. The 6'3", 210-pounder probably isn't draftable, but he should at least get a tryout.
9. Philip Welch, K, Wisconsin
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Though he didn't play much in 2011, Philip Welch impressed in his previous three years at Wisconsin. Welch's downside is his lack of elite range, and he is pretty well limited to under 50 yards. That will keep him from getting drafted, but it probably won't keep him from getting a tryout.
8. Kyle Martens, P, Rice
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At 6'6", 230 pounds, Kyle Marten has a big build and he can boot the ball. However, Martin's four punts of over 60 yards didn't bring his average punt length above 43.6, which is merely average. Martin clearly has some issues to work on.
7. Danny Hrapmann, K, Southern Miss
Danny Hrapmann's 2011 numbers dropped significantly from the year before, but he has a big leg and potential. Hrapmann is too inconsistent to be drafted, but his upside will cause a team to bring him in after the draft.
6. Randy Bullock, K, Texas A&M
In 2011, Randy Bullock made an impressive 87.9 percent of his kicks, including 12 of 14 from 40-49 yards. Bullock attempted just two kicks of over 50 yards, though, and as a result, he may not hear his name called during the draft.
5. Carson Wiggs, K, Purdue
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Carson Wiggs made just 76 percent of his kicks in 2011, down from the previous year. Wiggs' inconsistency on long kicks was a big part of his struggles, and he needs to remain composed at all times.
4. Shawn Powell, P, Florida State
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In 2011, Shawn Powell led the country in yards per punt, averaging 47. The 6'4", 235-pounder probably isn't impressive enough to be drafted, but he could make a roster out of training camp.
3. Blair Walsh, K, Georgia
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After outstanding seasons in 2009 and 2010, Blair Walsh struggled mightily in 2011. He attempted an astonishing 17 kicks of over 40 yards, though, and that's a big reason for his struggles.
However, Walsh's 2011 season could have dropped him from a late-round pick to an undrafted free agent.
2. Drew Butler, P, Georgia
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Drew Butler averaged 44.2 yards per punt in 2011, and he is capable of better. The Georgia product's leg is powerful, and that could draw NFL teams to sign him as a priority free agent.
1. Bryan Anger, P, California
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Bryan Anger is the rare draftable punter. The 6'4", 207-pounder has a big, accurate leg, and he booted 18 punts of 50 or more yards in 2011. His 19 punts inside the 20 is also a respectable number.