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Dorsch, Chandler best of kickers


A year ago, the Jaguars were desperate enough for a punter to have spent a fifth-round pick on David Leaverton. Then, he lost his training camp battle with waiver-wire acquisition Chris Hanson.

This year, the Jaguars have a legitimate need for a kicker. Will they spend a draft choice on one, or will last year's experience cause them to hesitate?

Purdue's Travis Dorsch is the only kicker who carries a draftable grade. The Jaguars have worked out Florida's Jeff Chandler, but Chandler would seem to be more of a candidate to be signed in undrafted free agency.

Dorsch handled the punting, kickoff and placement chores at Purdue. His punts provide great hang-time and his kickoffs are deep, but place-kicking is the weakness in his game. He needs to develop those skills more fully.

Chandler has NFL-caliber leg strength to handle the kickoff chores, and his placement kicks are accurate, high and with adequate range. The only knock on Chandler is that he hasn't always been reliable in his career at Florida.

Michigan's Hayden Epstein and Toledo's Todd France are the best of the rest and will probably get a try in some team's training camp.

Ohio's Dave Zastudil is the best punter to have come out of the Mid-American Conference since Brad Maynard and, as was Maynard, Zastudil could be drafted as early as the third round. Zastudil, 6-3, 222, is left-footed and has thunderous leg strength. Of course, that's of no consequence to the Jaguars, who appear to have found their long-term punter last year.

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