The Jacksonville Jaguars shocked the NFL world last April when they used the 70th overall pick—five spots before the Seahawks drafted quarterback Russell Wilson—on California punter Bryan Anger.
While the position can be an asset, punter is rarely one that is drafted before the late rounds, much less the third.
If there is any kind of movement toward taking a punter higher, LSU's Brad Wing might represent the most likely early option in the 2013 NFL draft. Australian born to a father who punted in both the NFL and NFL Europe, Wing possesses a big leg capable of handcuffing a return game.
Below, we'll present the scouting report on LSU's top punting prospect.
|+NFL-ready kick power, height||-Reportedly failed drug test in 2012|
|+Ability to put touch on kicks inside 20||-Has injury history|
|+Kicked best in biggest games||-Off-the-field issues|
|+Family history of punting||-Just two years of college experience|
|+All but eliminated returns|
Arguably no punter in the 2013 class possesses the same kind of raw kicking power as Wing. After growing up in Australia under the tutelage of his father, David Wing, who played for both the Detroit Lions and Scottish Claymores, Wing arrived in the United States ready to take on the collegiate challenge.
Over two seasons at LSU, Wing averaged 44.6 yards per punt, including a 44.8-yard mark in 2012 (good for third-best in school history). He finished third in the SEC in average (44.4) during his freshman season. On eight different occasions, he posted a punt of at least 60 yards, with a career long of 73.
Wing declared early for the NFL draft, but will leave as the school's all-time leader in punting average. A remarkable 39 of his 118 punts traveled at least 50 yards.
Despite possessing a big leg capable of massive punts, Wing is also accomplished at pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line. Using the Australian "drop punt" technique on several occasions, Wing put 48 of his 118 career punts inside the 20, a rate of 40 percent.
He's capable of directional punting, although he has been knocked for out kicking his coverage at times. Only 23 of his 118 punts were returned.
Wing made the most of his two seasons at LSU.
As a freshman, Wing was named a first-team All-SEC selection and a semifinalist for the Ray Guy award, presented to the nation's top punter. He was also selected as a freshman All-American.
His 73-yard punt against Alabama in 2011 was good for the third-longest punt in school history. Overall, he totaled 20 punts over 50 yards and had just five touchbacks. Only 12 of his 59 punts were returned.
The next season, Wing's net punting average of 40.7 finished as the second-best in the SEC and ninth-best in the FBS. His 69-yard punt against Arkansas again placed him in the top five in school history (No. 5) and 19 of his 59 punts traveled 50 yards or more.
Wing did miss four total games over two seasons, and was reportedly suspended for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl after failing a drug test.
Wing's combination of raw power and drop-punt skills make him an attractive option at punter in the NFL. Not only will he be able to turn around field position with kicking length, but he can also pin offenses deep with the Australian "pooch" punt style.
Wing was also the primary holder for both field goal and point-after tries. Despite a big punting leg, he was never asked to kick off for LSU.
On a side note, Wing scored a touchdown on a fake punt against Florida in 2011, but the score was called back when Wing was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Since 2008—or the span of five drafts—only 10 punters have drafted, or an average of two per draft. The average draft spot of those 10 punters was No. 171, or late-fifth to early-sixth round. The outlier of the group is Bryan Anger, who was drafted at No. 70 overall in 2012.
Given there isn't an Anger-like reach in the 2013 draft, Wing's draft stock likely resides in the sixth-to-seventh round.
While arguably the top punting talent in the draft, Wing has off-the-field issues (failed drug test, lack of "professionalism," per CBS Sports) and a two-year injury history. A team in need of punting competition will likely take a risk on him in the late rounds.
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