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2006 NFL Draft Talk (1 Viewer)

Mike Herman

Footballguy
2006 NFL Draft Talk

Part IX: Kickers

Interested in starting up some discussion on who some of the top players will be in this year's draft class.

Feel free to share any information, opinions, scouting reports, etc. on players who you think will be available during the NFL draft in April. This would also be a good place to ask questions about players who you might be having trouble finding good information on.

This obviously will help dynasty owners begin to prepare for the offseason and upcoming rookie drafts, but will also help to improve our overall knowledge and awareness of the incoming talent pool.



Links to all draft threads: QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB

 
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Mike Herman

Footballguy
The kicker that appears at or near the top of many early draft rankings is Virginia's Conner Hughes.2002 5 of 6 FGs (83.3%), 31 points2003 23 of 25 FGs (92.0%), 109 points2004 17 of 24 FGs (70.8%), 93 points2005 21 of 24 FGs (87.5%), 99 pointsHe ended his collegiate career on a high note in the Music City Bowl: Virginia 34, Minnesota 31He was 2/2 FGs: 32 yards, and the 39 yard game winner with 1:08 to play in the game.

 

Chaos Commish

Footballguy
I don't remember kickers' names and I think punting and kicking should be outlawed. If you can't get ten yards in four tries just give it to other team. :loco: But, Iirc Ohio State and Southern Miss have great kickers. I'm not sure of their draft status though.

 

Chaos Commish

Footballguy
From NFL Draft Countdown 1. Connor Hughes Virginia 5-10 172 2. Deric Yaussi Wyoming 5-11 199 3. Jon Scifres Missouri St. 6-2 197 4. Josh Huston Ohio St. 6-1 195 5. Stephen Gostkowski Memphis 6-2 200 6. Ben Jones Purdue 6-1 213eta: the dude from Southern Miss must be an underclassman. I'm sure he's a talent.

 
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Don Quixote

Footballguy
If Mason Crosby declares, he'll be the first to go. He's got the strongest leg I've ever seen in a college kicker (stronger than Janikowski). From 50+ this year: 5-7. 2004 long: 60. 2005 long: 58.

 

bts4bkfst

Footballguy
If Mason Crosby declares, he'll be the first to go. He's got the strongest leg I've ever seen in a college kicker (stronger than Janikowski). From 50+ this year: 5-7. 2004 long: 60. 2005 long: 58.
where does he go to school?
 

Don Quixote

Footballguy
If Mason Crosby declares, he'll be the first to go. He's got the strongest leg I've ever seen in a college kicker (stronger than Janikowski). From 50+ this year: 5-7. 2004 long: 60. 2005 long: 58.
where does he go to school?
Colorado. He had this one 58-yard FG attempt in the Nebraska game that had the distance by about 5-7 yards, but was just wide right.
 

bts4bkfst

Footballguy
If Mason Crosby declares, he'll be the first to go. He's got the strongest leg I've ever seen in a college kicker (stronger than Janikowski). From 50+ this year: 5-7. 2004 long: 60. 2005 long: 58.
where does he go to school?
Colorado. He had this one 58-yard FG attempt in the Nebraska game that had the distance by about 5-7 yards, but was just wide right.
yeah, I found it. I scoffed when i saw he kicked in the think air but most of his 50+ were on the road. looks like a fantastic prospect next year. He'll fill in nicely for Jason Hanson in 2007
 

Mike Herman

Footballguy
1. Connor Hughes, Virginia

2. Stephen Gostkowski, Memphis

3. Deric Yaussi, Wyoming

4. Jon Scifres, Missouri State

5. Josh Houston, Ohio State

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1 Connor Hughes, Virginia

2 Stephen Gostkowski, Memphis

3 John Scifres, Southwest Missouri

4 Josh Huston, Ohio State

5 Ben Jones, Purdue

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Small School Sleeper K's

1 Sean Comiskey, UL-Lafayette

2 Greg Kuehn, William & Mary

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Mike Herman

Footballguy
The story goes something like this. When Dan Hawkins assembled the CU players for his first team meeting, he asked kicker Mason Crosby to raise his hand. "Don't go!" Hawkins pleaded.

A month or so later, Crosby has reached the eleventh hour. He has until Sunday to decide whether to return for his senior season or declare himself eligible for the NFL draft. And frankly, those close to him expect the decision sooner, maybe by today. So what's he going to do? For every person who believes he's gone, there's another convinced he's staying. No, he wouldn't figure to improve his draft stock by staying. Then again, he's a kicker, so there would be virtually no risk of injury.

This much we know: Crosby has been informed by the NFL office that he projects as a third-rounder if he skips his senior season. If that sounds low for the best kicker in the country, it shouldn't. If anything, it suggests he would be the first kicker taken. Only five kickers have been selected in the third round or higher in the past 10 NFL drafts. Of those five, one - Sebastian Janikowski by the Oakland Raiders - has been taken in the first round.
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IndyHavoc

Footballguy
Just adding a :twocents: from a local Purdue guy. Ben Jones, eh...he's average or above average in all aspects of being a kicker. Above average leg stength, little above average accuracy. He improved a good deal over the last 3 seasons. Nothing flashy, nothing horrible. Just..."eh". Pretty vanilla.

 

Mike Herman

Footballguy
All-American kicker Mason Crosby decided Thursday to return to Colorado for his senior season. A sure NFL prospect, he decided to play out his senior season with new coach Dan Hawkins. "It just came to me, I was meant to play another year at Colorado and do the college thing for one more year," Crosby said. "I made a commitment to play four years in college, and I owed that to myself and to my teammates."

Crosby, who made 21 of 28 field goal attempts last season, including a 58-yarder at Miami, led the nation with an average of 41.2 yards for each of his made field goals. His 58-yarder was the longest on record at sea level without a kicking tee. He had two late game-winners last season, a 48-yarder in a 31-28 win over Colorado State and a 50-yarder for a 23-20 win at Kansas State.
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Mike Herman

Footballguy
Some Must See TV...

... future NFL players will compete in the ninth annual Capital One Presents the College Football All-Star Challenge. This year's competition will air on ESPN during Super Bowl Weekend and will be shown Saturday, February 4th at 4:00 PM EST.

There will three divisions of competitors: quarterbacks, receivers/running backs and kickers. The kickers competition is new to this year's event. Stephen Gostkowski of Memphis, Connor Hughes of Virginia, Josh Huston of Ohio State and David Pino of Texas are the inaugural field.

Additional competitors will be announced later this week.
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-OZ-

Footballguy
I know he was just a junior, so he won't be heading into the draft, but what happened to EMU's Andrew Wellock this year? He was a Groza award finalist in 2004 and considered the top PK by many heading into 2005. His stats don't show it because his team is anemic, but he isn't even listed as one of the 20 canidates for the award in '05. I don't get to see my alma mater's games, so anyone who knows, I appreciate the info.

 

Mike Herman

Footballguy
Several teams have shown enough interest in Memphis kicker Stephen Gostkowski to have him sit down for the interviews many players are giving, including DeAngelo Williams, his teammate at Memphis. Gostkowski said he has a ploy to help his chances. "I'm telling everybody it's a package deal," Gostkowski said. "If they want him, they have to take me. DeAngelo doesn't know about it yet."
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Mike Herman

Footballguy
University of Memphis kicker Stephen Gostkowski picked up two prizes after winning two events in the eighth annual Capital One Presents the College Football All-Star Challenge. Gostkowski won the Around the World Competition and the distance competition, which entitled him to two 50-inch televisions.
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Mike Herman

Footballguy
The specials teams invitees to the 2006 Combine:

Danny Baugher, Arizona (P)

Josh Huston, Ohio State (PK)

David Lonie, California (P)

Tom Malone, Southern California (P)

Ingle Martin, Furman (P/QB)

Jeff Mullins, Marshall (LS)

Thomas Olmsted, Troy (P)

Sam Paulescu, Oregon State (P)

Ryan Plackemeier, Wake Forest (P)

Jon Scifres, Southwest Missouri State (PK)

Joel Stelly, Louisiana-Monroe (P)

Boone Stutz, Texas A&M (LS)

Gavin Tarquino, Georgia Tech (LS)

John Torp, Colorado (P)

Steve Weatherford, Illinois (P)

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Mike Herman

Footballguy
Josh Huston, the Ohio State kicker by the way of Findlay High School, is the top-ranked kicker in the NFL draft, which is set for late April. He also is just one of two kickers - Jon Scifres, from Division I-AA Missouri State is the other - who received invitations to the league's annual scouting combine at the RCA Dome.

"His biggest claim to fame to now is that Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl-winning quarterback, was his holder for one year in high school," said NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt, the Dallas Cowboys' longtime player personnel director under Tom Landry. "But I can tell you that everyone likes a kicker who can boom the ball into the end zone. Josh can do that. He has a big leg. He has impressed everybody."

After five years of sitting and waiting behind Mike Nugent, Huston finally became a key component for the Buckeyes this year. He hit 22 of 28 field goals and 44 of 45 extra points while scoring a team-high 110 points. More importantly, Huston consistently sent his kickoffs into, through and beyond the end zone. He produced a school-record 54 touchbacks on 77 kicks.

He started playing soccer at age 5, and that was his sport for the longest time. Huston did a little kicking on the seventh grade football team. But it wasn't until his junior year at Findlay, where he was an all-state soccer player, that the skinny kid with the big leg joined Big Ben and the boys full-time on the football field. Huston was a first-team all-state pick in Division I for the Trojans that year. As a senior, he registered 67 touchbacks on 79 kickoffs, but Roethlisberger's 54 touchdown passes limited his field-goal opportunities. "Like all quarterbacks, Ben would have rather been on the field going for it on fourth down instead of holding for me," Huston said. "But he did a good job of holding for one year. He helped get me a scholarship to Ohio State." Huston, recruited by former Ohio State coach John Cooper, redshirted with the Buckeyes in 2000 and then lost the job to Nugent the following season by going 3 of 10 on field goals.
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Mike Herman

Footballguy
Combine news:

None of the place-kickers stood out. In fact not a single kicker was able to get a kick-off into the end zone from the pro-mark. Jon Scifres of Missouri State and Josh Huston from Ohio State were both solid with their field goal attempts. Each made a pair from 50-yards, though none of the successful attempts had great clearance from that distance.
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Mike Herman

Footballguy
Like last year, the [Tamps Bay] Bucs arrived at the scouting combine looking for a kicker. And like last year, the kicker the Bucs came to look at the hardest was an Ohio State product. A year after they strongly contemplated drafting Buckeyes specialist Mike Nugent, the Bucs are looking at possibly drafting Nugent's replacement, Josh Huston.

The Bucs used one of their 60 interview allotments to get to know Huston better, but after what happened with Nugent last year they probably wish no one knew that. The Bucs made no secret of their desire to draft Nugent, at one point telling his father they intended to spend a third-round pick on his son. Tipped off, the Jets took Nugent in the second round.

Not that it mattered. The Bucs had already signed Matt Bryant, and Bryant last year turned in his best season as a pro, producing an .840 field goal percentage that was the third-highest in team history. Bryant, however, is slated to become a free agent Friday. And although his contract demands aren't expected to be exorbitant, they could prove too pricey for the cap-strapped Bucs. The Bucs are projected to be $19 million over the salary cap and might have trouble re-signing some of their own free agents. Thus the interest in Huston, who outkicked Nugent in one key area at Ohio State.

According to ESPN's analysis of Huston, he set a school record by recording touchbacks on 49 of his 70 kickoffs last year and had touchbacks on 54 of 77 kickoffs overall as a collegian. The switch he'll have to make to the bigger NFL ball could cut into Huston's kickoff percentage, but if his first attempts kicking with the NFL ball are any indication of what's ahead, that won't happen. During a practice at the East-West Shrine Game, Huston kicked one ball 8 yards out of the end zone. At the combine, Huston recorded one touchback on 11 kicks, but several others landed inside the 5. Huston is pretty solid as a field goal kicker, too. He hit on 22 of 28 field goal tries for Ohio State last season and made 12 of 15 at the combine, the same as Nugent.

But unlike Nugent, Huston won't be taken in the second round. Though one team has graded Huston higher than Nugent, most projections have him being taken on the second day of the draft.
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Mike Herman

Footballguy
Former Tiger kicker Stephen Gostkowski, the C-USA Special Teams Player of the Year, continues to conduct individual workouts for interested NFL teams. Gostkowski, who also pitches for the Tiger baseball team and will start Tuesday's game against Ole Miss, kicked for the Chicago Bears earlier this week at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. ''It could have gone better,'' Gostkowski said. ''But at least I got the first one out of the way. I just had a bad day kicking. I wasn't prepared mentally or physically.'' Gostkowski said he hopes inviting a deep snapper and holder to the next workout leads to a better performance. He is scheduled to work out for the Indianapolis Colts on April 10. He said the Green Bay Packers and the Miami Dolphins also have expressed interest in an individual workout and may visit next Friday.
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Mike Herman

Footballguy
Cowboys looking for young Kickoff Specialist

With the recent signing of veteran kicker Mike Vanderjagt, the Dallas Cowboys will likely have to use a roster spot on another kicker for kickoffs. Vanderjagt wants to try kicking off but he hasn't done it regularly since 2003 and wasn't good at it when he did do it. "I don't know that he's going to all of a sudden become a kickoff guy again," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a recent interview. "I think I do know the odds of that."

Jones said also that, if a kickoff specialist is necessary, he would like to find a young kicker that can be groomed. Enter Memphis kicker Stephen Gostkowski. Gostkowski, one of the top kickers in the country last year, will have a private workout with Dallas next week, TheRanchReport.com has learned. The former Memphis standout, who was also selected to play in the Senior Bowl earlier this year, is one of two kickers to have private workouts with the Cowboys. Dallas special teams coach Bruce DeHaven attended a private session with Virginia's Conner Hughes.
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