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KO man could be steal


If you're looking for a kicker in the draft, but don't want to spend a first-day pick and would be willing to make room on your roster for a guy who offers huge upside but will require development time, there's a candidate for you.

Remember the name David Kimball of Penn State. He's a big-leg, kickoff guy who registered an 83 percent touchback percentage last season. Kimball turned in a sensational scouting combine workout in which he out-performed top-rated kicker Nate Kaeding of Iowa, and draft analyst Tony Pauline believes Kimball could become a late-rounds "steal" of the draft.

Kaeding, 6-0, 187, is proven quality. He excelled for four years at Iowa, where he converted 20 of 21 field goal attempts last season, with a long of 55 yards. Kaeding has an excellent kickoff leg, and his combination of strength and accuracy could see him come off the board as early as the third round this Saturday.

Might Kaeding be a prospect for the Jaguars? Most believe the answer to that question is yes, as the Jaguars are desperate to address a kicking game that was the worst in the league last year.

But what about Kimball, 6-1, 209? He's a kickoff specialist extraordinaire, but his combine workout gives rise to the possibility he could be much more. A Johnny-come-lately at Penn State, Kimball only attempted a handful of field-goal attempts last fall, but at the combine he was three-for-three from 50 yards and put most of his kickoffs in the end zone, at the pro distance.

Kaeding is the only kicker candidate who might solve the Jaguars' problem next season, but Kimball could be an interesting project. After those two prospects, the kicking ranks get thin.

Louisiana Tech's Josh Scobee, 6-1, 191, is a four-year kicker who converted 67 percent of his tries last season, with a long of 59 yards. He was at 76.2 percent as a junior. Scobee, however, does not have a booming leg for kickoffs. He figures to be a seventh-round pick.

Notre Dame's Nick Setta is the only other kicker prospect. He'll be signed as an undrafted free agent.

Three punters could be drafted. That list is headed by Kyle Larson, 6-0, 204, of Nebraska. A three-year man, Larson averaged 45.1 yards per punt on 66 punts last year, with a long of 80 yards. He "killed" 22 of his punts inside the 20-yard line. Larson offers great hang time, gets the ball up quickly and is good at handling poor snaps, but he's a marginal directional punter and had five punts blocked in the last three years.

Ohio State's B.J. Sander, 6-3, 219, averaged 43.3 yards per punt on 82 boots last season, with a long of 68 yards and 39 "kills." Sander has an excellent leg, good hang time and can directional punt. He will also tackle.

Donnie Jones, 6-2, 222, of LSU, has a big leg. He averaged 42 yards per punt on 65 punts, with a long of 75 yards but only 22 "kills." Jones can flip the field and had an outstanding Senior Bowl, but he was ineffective at the combine and is not an accomplished directional punter.

Pitt punter Andy Lee will be signed in undrafted free agency.

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