Jaguars.com previews the 2007 NFL draft in an eight-part series. The final installment of the series features kickers and punters.
A solid crop of kickers and punters will tempt teams with needs in those areas to use a draft choice to select a fix, and at least two players could be selected rather early in this year's NFL draft.
Colorado kicker Mason Crosby (pictured) has rare leg strength and could be a first-day pick. Crosby kicked an NCAA-record 58-yard field goal at sea level as a junior, after bombing one from 60 yards in the rarified air of Boulder, Colo., in his sophomore season. Crosby sailed one through the uprights from 56 yards last season, but his senior campaign was marred by inconsistency; he converted only 67.9 percent of his field goal attempts. The real knock on Crosby is that his kickoffs are mediocre at best, but it's thought a team will fall in love with his leg strength before the third round is complete.
Baylor's Daniel Sepulveda has a huge leg and has been one of the most consistent punters in the nation the last four years, after walking on. Sepulveda averaged 46.5 yards per punt on 66 punts last year, with a long of 78 yards. He kicks moon shots with hang times of five seconds. Sepulveda flips the field and is an accomplished directional punter. The only knock on him is that he needs to improve his touch-to-toe time. Might the Jaguars be interested in Sepulveda in, say, round four?
Adam Podlesh of Maryland is strong-legged and the best directional punter in the draft. Podlesh offers great hang time and averaged 42.3 yards on 53 punts last year, with a long of 63 yards. Jaguars.com draft analyst Tony Pauline figures Podlesh will go in the fifth round.
Arizona kicker Nick Folk is a dual threat. He's a kicker who can punt. Folk converted 75 percent of his field goal attempts last season, with a long of 52 yards. He's likely to be a late-round pick.
Kody Bliss of Auburn has a strong leg and can flip the field. Bliss, however, is an average directional punter and struggles when has to rush his punts. He's a late-rounder, too.
The sixth kicker/punter likely to be drafted is UCLA kicker Jason Medlock, who converted 87.5 percent of his field goal tries last season and knocked one home from 51 yards. Medlock is very accurate, his kicks have good lift and he has a solid kickoff leg. He's had off-the-field problems, however, that are likely to drop his stock and he's been to known to miss chip-shots.