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2013 Specialists Rankings

April 24, 2013

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Specialists

FB

Lonnie Pryor Florida St. An undersized FB who is adept in the passing game but not as good of a blocker as some team’s like. In the 2012 Wake Forest game he had a wheel route vs. LB and was open but overthrown, good speed on 17 yd dump off. In the 2012 Northern Illinois game he had 59 yd TD run on inside run he took to the sidelines, took dump off 12 yds-ended with spin move on defender for final 3, 37 yd TD run up middle. Combine: Ran drill wrong but otherwise was solid in mini gauntlet drill. A do everything type FB with below average run blocking but great hands and good speed for a FB. He fits best in a passing offense that still uses a FB (Chiefs might be interested as Andy Reid’s offense is perfect for him). 7th round as my #1 FB 4/20/13.

Kyle Juszyck Senior Bowl: Day 1: Barely beat Khaseem Green in 1×1 drill. Day 2: Pancaked Green in hole on pass rush drill, barely made contact with Powell on next one, good job handling Duke Williams on up and under. Day 4: Surprisingly popped back on heels by Sio Moore in rush drill, good catch on out vs. Steve Beahamais despite tight cov. In the 2012 Senior Bowl he started at FB, solid block on Ezekial Ansah, had a good week in pass pro and as a run blocker, poor run on short yardage going right into OL and falling down-no vision and only a blocker. He’s a solid blocker but not good enough in that area or versatile enough to be worth a draft pick. Free Agent as my #2 FB 4/2/13.

Tommy Bohanon Wake Forest #42 Sr. Senior Bowl: Day 1: Nothing special on dump off. In the 2012 Senior Bowl game he started at FB, no movement but got job done on block in hole vs. Kevin Reddick, good block on Khaseem Greene, gets no movement on his blocks, solid hands on high pass over his head on short out, short out-good hands for a FB, couldn’t get the one hand catch done in the flat. Combine: 36 reps on the bench. Not fast and didn’t seem to have a great attitude in flat check down drill. Free Agent as my #3 FB 4/20/13.

Hubie Graham Pittsburgh #83 6’4 230 Sr. Plays TE at Pitt but his size and blocking prowess make him a FB prospect. In the 2011 West Virginia game he had a quick out he turned upfield for 10 yds showing solid speed and hands. Camp invite as my #4 FB 4/20/13.

Zach Boren Ohio St. #44 6’0 245 Sr. In the 2012 Wisconsin game he played LB and FB, solid tackles in run game, HUGE hit on QB on delayed blitz-concussion like hit (5:30 2nd). In the 2012 Michigan game he had big hit on delayed blitz for 5.5 sec sack-rocked QB (6:10 2nd), Chris Spielman thinks his move from O to D was what solidified the D in 2nd half of year. Combine: Terrible 40 time (5.00) and looked it. Very slow on arrow route drill. Very slow again but made a great diving catch in corner route drill. Camp invite as my #5 FB 4/20/13.

Ryan Roberson Texas #30 Sr. In the 2012 Oklahoma game he had solid 7 yd dump off-showed great strength and could be a FB or short yardage back as he is built like a tank. In the 2012 Oklahoma St. game he had a 9 yd catch and run from the flat-solid speed and again lowered his shoulder to lay a hit. Camp invite as my #6 FB 4/20/13.

K

1. Dustin Hopkins Florida St. Sr.

Stats: ACC

Year

FGM

FGA

PCT

Touchback

TB %

2012

25

30

83.3

 

 

2011

22

27

81.5

 

 

2010

22

28

78.6

 

 

2009

19

27

70.4

 

 

Notes: Had a 55 yd FG in overtime to beat Clemson in 2010 (longest game winning FG in ACC history) showing elite leg strength and ability in the clutch. In the 2011 FSU Spring Game had an amazing 60 yd FG that looked good for another 5 yards showing great leg strength and a smooth, straight delivery (3:40 1st), was 2-3 on kickoffs in the end zone, also had a 41 yd, 35, and a chip shot FG. Looks like the best kicker in the country 8/31/11. Wears golden shoes. In the 2011 Oklahoma game he was making 55 yd FGs with room to spare, hit 53 yd with a few yards to spare hitting it high and perfectly straight, made 46 yd. One of 3 finalists for Lou Groza award in 2011. In the 2012 Wake Forest game he kicked the ball incredibly high on kickoffs so coverage could get KR inside the 20-better than touchbacks (25 yd line) yet won’t show up on the stats. In the 2012 South Florida game he missed a 48 yd FG (straight as an arrow and long enough but wide right the entire time), made 43 yd (perfect). In the 2012 Georgia Tech game he kicked ball OOB-missed pylon by 2 yds. In the 2012 Florida game he hit a 50 yd that exploded off his foot, would have been good at 58 yds, and was perfectly straight, 53 yd FG-could also have been +5 yds longer. 3rd rounder as he has everything you want in a kicker except a Janikowski level leg 12/20/12. Finalist for Lou Groza award in 2012 losing to Cairo Santos. In the 2012 Northern Illinois game he hit the upright on 50 yd FG (5-6 +50 yds), set records for most FGs in career. In 2011 he was 15-17 inside 40 yds, 6-7 from 40-49, and 1-3 from +50 yds. In 2012 he was 14-15 inside 40 yds, 6-9 from 40-49, and 5-6 from +50 yds.

Overall: Dustin is a kicker with elite leg strength and experience who has everything you want in a kicker except elite accuracy inside of 40 yds. He had a 3rd round grade (highest grade I give out to kickers other than Janikowski) throughout the year yet when looking over his numbers his 3 misses inside of 40 yds the past 2 seasons stuck out to me. Eventually I overcame that flaw of his as watching him kick you see leg that will immediately be one of the elite legs in the NFL and I suspect his flaws inside of 40 will be fixed over time. Also going for him is the fact that he has 60 yd FG potential (hit a 60 yd FG in the 2011 Spring game,  numerous mid 50’s FGs in clutch moments (overtime winner vs. Clemson in 2010), and 4 years experience. He will be a Top 10 kicker in the NFL as a rookie. #1 Kicker and 3rd round 1/30/13.

2. Quinn Sharp Oklahoma St. 6’1 191 Sr.

Stats: Big 12

Year

FGM

FGA

PCT

Touchback

TB %

2012

28

34

82.4

 

 

2011

22

25

88

61

53.5

2010

2

4

50

53

54.1

2009

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: Led nation with 53 touchbacks on kickoffs AND was an All American punter in ’10. Was academically ineligible for the ’10 Valero Bowl vs. Arizona. In the 2011 Arizona game had a 42 yd FG that was straight and strong but wide right (0:03 2nd), touchback (15:00 3rd), nice fake punt showing good speed for 24 yd run and laying his shoulder to take a hit against a defender, looks like a former HS player position player as he knew what to do (6:03 3rd), and missed extra point but due to a poor hold. In the 2011 Iowa St. game he missed a 37 yd FG to force OT and the eventual shocking loss (1:17 4th). Led nation in touchbacks again in 2011 with 61 but was 2nd in % (53.51) behind Cody Parkey. In the 2012 West Virginia game he had kickoff out of end zone to start game-Tavon Austin returning so big deal, 4x touchbacks, 47 yd punt forcing fair catch, from his end zone he kicked it and with one bounce it went to Austin at the 25 yd line (73 yd punt!), began knuckleballing it to him and one was bobbled around for TO, 38 yd punt forcing fair catch-extreme hang time, punted a moonshot forcing fair catch that Austin walked away from b/c he couldn’t track it and it bounced and hit him for TO-his strange punts/kicks have created two TOs!, great knuckleball again with almost another TO but fell on at 8 yd line, blocked his punt. In the 2012 Oklahoma game he had a punt 54 yds in air-went back for TD but didn’t outkick his cov though he did look bad trying to tackle PR on sideline. In the 2012 Texas game he bobbled snap and hit it left footed to get it away and not be blocked-27 yd punt but still not bad for a left foot, missed 53 yd FG-just wide right-far enough. 1st team Big 12 in 2012 as both a punter and kicker! In the 2012 Purdue game he had a 65 yd punt pinning them inside the 10 yd line. He was 20-22 inside of 40 yds, 2-3 from 40-49, and 0/0 +50 yds. He was 19-19 from inside of 40 yds, 7-10 from 40-49, and 2-5 +50 yds in 2012.

Overall: As strange as it may sound Quinn Sharp is one of the most intriguing prospects in the 2013 NFL Draft. He is the 2nd or 3rd best kicker in this draft class AND one of the best punters in the draft class. With GMs and coaches hating to keep more special teams players than they have to this versatility is quite valuable. He would save a team both a roster spot and money to devote to other aspects of the team while showing the rare accuracy inside of 40 yards that full time punters rarely have mastered (39-41 in past 2 seasons). The only downside of Sharp is that he is still learning his craft as a long range kicker. It has improved as in 2011 the team gave him 0 opportunities from +50 yds, meaning he likely hadn’t been making them in practice, yet in 2012 he was given 5 opportunities (2-5). He’s an NFL caliber kicker, albeit one without great range, and an even better punter making me comfortable giving him a late 3rd round grade (#2 kicker) as a unique dual threat player 1/30/13.

3. Caleb Sturgis Florida Sr.

Stats: SEC

Year

FGM

FGA

PCT

Touchback

TB %

2012

24

28

85.7

 

 

2011

22

26

84.6

 

 

2010

2

4

50

 

 

2009

22

30

73.3

 

 

Notes: Redshirted in ’08. Finalist for Lou Groza award in 2011 losing to Randy Bullock. Hit a 51 yd FG vs. Bowling Green in 2012 and had another 3-5 yds on it. His career high is 56 yds. In the 2012 Tennessee game he had a 49 yd and another shorter one with both looking perfect and right down middle. Ball explodes off his foot. Finalist for Lou Groza award in 2012 losing to Cairo Santos. He had 3 FGs blocked this season marring an almost perfect season. In the 2012 Florida St. game  he did nothing wrong but his KOs weren’t elite and Hopkins put on a show making Sturgis look clearly like the lesser kicker. In 2011 he was 13-13 inside 40 yds, 6-8 40-49, and 3-5 +50 yds. In 2012 he was 16-18 inside 40 yds, 5-6 40-49, and 3-3 +50 yds (one of the misses isn’t captured by ESPN, block?).

Overall: Despite elite accuracy and underrated leg strength (6-8 +50 yds in past 2 years) I’m not as high on Sturgis as I am on Sharp and Hopkins. The reason is that he lacks the spectacular leg strength of Hopkins and the versatility which makes Sharp so unique. He’s more of a very good kicker than a potentially great one yet still very valuable as an experienced, accurate kicker who should be very good for a decade. 4th round as the #3 kicker (#1 kicker in most draft classes) 1/30/13.

Free Agent

Maikon Bonani South Florida 5’10 176 Sr. Set school record vs. Rutgers with 9th straight make. Has a strong leg easily making a 46 yd (5 yds to spare) and kicking both FGs straight and hard. Definitely NFL caliber 9/13/12. Free Agent who I’ve heard nothing about but looked NFL caliber to me 4/20/13.

P

1. Ryan Allen Louisiana Tech Sr.

Stats: Big 10

Year

Punt Avg

Long

2012

48.0

 

2011

46.1

72

2010

 

 

2009

 

 

Notes: Won the Ray Guy Award in 2011 ending the season 4th in the nation in average (46.1), 1st in the nation in punts inside the 20 (37), 1st in the nation in punts inside the 10 (20), and had a long of 72 on the season. If he has a 2nd good season he likely will be the rare punter who gets drafted. Won the Ray Guy Award in 2012 beating out finalists Kyle Christy and Scott Kovanda. His 48.04 punt average was the 2nd highest of any punter in college football the past 6 years (Drew Butler had 48.05 avg in 2009). He’s only the 2nd player to win the Ray Guy Award multiple seasons with Daniel Sepulveda doing it in non-consecutive seasons and later being drafted in the 4th round.

Overall: Ryan Allen is a back to back Ray Guy award winner (2011 and 2012) who had a spectacular season in 2012 with a 48.04 punt average that was the 2nd highest of any punter the past 6 seasons. Of his 45 punts in 2012 only 6 were touchbacks and he had impressive hang time to go along with his long distance punts. Ryan is clearly the #1 punter in this draft and the rare type that is deserving of being drafted in the 4th round 4/20/13.

2. Brad Wing LSU In the 2012 Washington game had +60 yd punt that bounced out of bounds at the 6 yd line-elite directional punter. Ended the season 12th in the nation in punt average after ending it 11th last season. Wing is an elite directional punter yet lacks the pure leg strength to be considered more than a fringe prospect. Combine that with his off the field issues and he’s a barely even a free agent as my #2 P 4/20/13.

3. Jeff Locke UCLA An All American punter who in 2012 also did kickoffs. Coach says he’s an NFL punter. Ended the season 23rd in the nation in average after being 12th last year. Camp invite as my #3 P 4/20/13.

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