Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Scouting Punters for the 2009 Draft

Now that the Redskins are looking forward to the 2009 draft, Ahern thought it would be beneficial to help out Vinny in scouting this year's punters. Since punters qualify for 6th round picks, it only makes sense we do our homework. Here is this year's top class ranked in order:

#1: T.J. Conley - Senior (Idaho Vandals):
2008 ALL-WAC FIRST TEAM. Excellent distance and hang-time.

#2: Ross Thevenot - Junior (Tulane)
Thevenot, a Punter/Kicker from Lake Charles, in one game, averaged 56 yards per punt on three attempts for 168 yards, placing one inside the 20. He also connected on field goals of 32 and 43 yards while converting all four PATs. His 43-yard field goal with 4:01 to play was a season-long and his 71-yard punt was the longest by a Green Wave player since 2003.

#3: Justin Brantly - Senior (Texas A&M)

Learning from the Past (in all seriousness):
There is an amazing truth I discovered about last year's draft, which is rather sickening and I feel Vinny needs to explain. Like the Redskins, the Broncos had their eye pre-draft on landing a solid Punter.

There were 4 punters that finished with a higher average than Durant Brooks (45.06 avg on 65 punts) last year...the winner being Kevin Huber of CIN (46.88 on 57). The #2 overall punter of the NCAA last year was Brett Kern of Toledo. One of the reasons the Broncos liked Brett Kern was that he kicked in the MAC, your basic cold-weather conference. He thrived under those circumstances, leading the nation at one-point in average yardage as a senior. Playing patient, the Broncos got their guy. Guess what round the Broncos drafted him? FREE AGENT. They never had to use a pick. He is now ranked #6 this year overall in NFL punting with ZERO blocks or touchbacks. To me, that is as embarrassing as it gets.

Kern's stats for DENVER this year:

Note: Plackemeier is ranked #31 with a 41.5 average, an abysmal 7 touchbacks, and only 9 punts inside the 20. I find this an embarrassingly low number since Plackeybomber is forced to punt 9 times a game it seems.

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