Pat O’Donnell is First Punter Off the Board

In the 6th round of the NFL Draft today, the Bears took punter Pat O’Donnell from the University of Miami at 191st overall. The 6’5″, 220 pound punter is one of the best in this draft. He bench pressed a fantastic 23 reps at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. He had a solid 47.1 yards AVG per punt in his last year at Miami, setting a school record. His longest punt of the year was a fantastic 71 yards. His best year came in 2011 when he had career highs in total yards, longest punt, kicks inside the 20, and most punts. He has not missed a game since 2009, when he was a freshman. The only reason he missed 9 games that year was because he wasn’t the starting punter. He even had a forced fumble this year.

The Bears drafting a punter is not surprising. After releasing the under performing Adam Podlesh, they needed another punter to come in and be the starter. O’Donnell should bring a spark to the Bears punting position. Expect good things from this kid.

Image from fansided.com

Image from fansided.com

First Round Review

Well, the first round of the draft has come and gone. As one might predict, no punters were taken in the first round. That doesn’t mean the Koffin Korner can’t take a look back at what happened.

The 1st pick was DE Jadeveon Clowney. This was expected. He’s got all the intangibles, but his work ethic is still a question. As Warren Sapp of the NFL Network said, “He doesn’t play with his hair on fire.”

T Greg Robinson went to the Rams at the 2nd pick. The Rams got a franchise tackle that will protect Sam Bradford for years to come.

The first surprise of the night came at the 3rd pick with the Jaguars. They took QB Blake Bortles in a move no one predicted. Does Blake have a good supporting cast to help him out? Ah… no.

In one of the Browns myriad of moves last night, they traded their 4th pick to the Bills. The Bills then took WR Sammy Watkins in a move that is sure to fire EJ Manuel up!

The Raiders got their team star in LB/DE Khalil Mack at the 5th pick. The silver and black now have a guy who can play on the defensive line or linebacker.

The Falcons took T Jake Matthews with the 6th pick. They were in dire need of offensive line talent.

The Buccaneers took WR Mike Evans with the 7th pick. A strong, quick receiver who will pair nicely with Vincent Jackson. Does the fact they didn’t draft a QB say they have faith in Josh McCown?

The Vikings came on the clock at the 8th pick with QB Johnny Manziel still on the board. This had to be the team he’d go to right? Uh… no. They traded their pick to the Browns. So, this must be the team! Uh… no. The Browns took CB Justin Gilbert in a move that gives them a corner to go opposite Joe Haden. Smart move at the 8th pick.

The Vikings took the 9th pick in the trade with the Browns. Once again, this must be Manziel! Uh… no. They drafted LB Anthony Barr in a move that shocked a lot of people including me. He’s got talent and should be good, but this might have been a reach.

At 10, the Lions took to the clock with a chance to get more offensive firepower or go defense. Defense is what they need, but they made a good pick in TE Eric Ebron. Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Brandon Pettigrew, Joseph Fauria, and Eric Ebron. That’s scary!

At 11, the Titans could have taken Johnny Manziel, but like everybody else, kept moving. They took T Taylor Lewan in a good move to strengthen their O-Line.

With the 12th pick, the Giants took WR Odell Beckam. With Hakeem Nicks gone, this was a good move to strengthen the WR core.

The Rams came back on the clock at 13 with a chance to draft Manziel! They’d do it right? No way Jose. They instead drafted DT Aaron Donald. This means they have Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers, Aaron Donald, and Chris Long? Lord help us.

The Bears added CB Kyle Fuller at number 14. Good move to get a good corner back there to help out in pass coverage against guys like Aaron Rodgers.

At 15, the Steelers took LB Ryan Shazier. He’s a fast LB that will give them a good duo with Shazier and Lawrence Timmons.

The 16th pick was the Cowboys and Manziel was still on the board! Jerry Jones knows how many jerseys he can sell with that pick. (Shout out to Mitchell Williamson for that line) Can Jerry maintain self control? Can he? Yes he can. The Cowboys took T/G Zack Martin. The Cowboys now have a young line in Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Martin. Good move Jerry. I applaud you for being smart.

At 17, the Ravens took ILB CJ Mosley. Good move to get a solid ILB to be the franchise’s future at that position.

The 18th pick and Manziel was still up there. The Jets would surely bring Manziel to New York! Nope. They drafted S Calvin Pryor. Interesting move. Pryor’s solid, but the Jets need CB’s.

At 19, the Dolphins took T Ja’Wuan James. This was definite head scratcher. Major reach by the Dolphins.

At 20, the rich got richer. The Saints picked the quick and elusive WR Brandin Cooks after a trade with the Cardinals.

At 21, the Packers took the best nickname in the entire draft. S Hasean “Ha Ha” Clinton-Dix will be a major help in covering passes from the NFC elite in the cold of January.

22 came and went with excitement. The Eagles were on the clock, but elected to trade their pick to the Browns. The Browns made the move we all expected and took QB Johnny Manziel. As he flashed the money sign, one had to wonder, will his game translate? We’ll have to see.

At 23, the Chiefs took DE Dee Ford. He’s a solid player who will be a day one starter for the Chiefs.

At 24, the Bengals took CB Darqueze Dennard. He’s a good player who dropped a bit. A definite steal for the Bengals.

At 25, the Chargers took CB Jason Verrett. You need corners to defend passes from Peyton Manning.

At 26, the Eagles took a definite surprise in LB Marcus Smith. This was definitely a reach. Is he 1st round pick talent?

At 27, one had to wonder if the Cardinals would draft Teddy Bridgewater. They opted to go defense and drafted S Deone Buchanon. Patrick Peterson, Deone Buchanon, and Tyrann Mathieu? That’s scary.

At 28, the Panthers gave a weak WR core some talent by taking WR Kelvin Benjamin. He’s a big, physical beast.

At 29, the Patriots took DT Dominique Easley. He’s a young face that can be mentored by Vince Wilfork.

At 30, the 49ers took S Jimmy Ward. He’ll make a nice tandem with Eric Reid.

At 31, the Broncos helped out a defense that gave up 43 points in the super bowl. They selected CB Bradley Roby in a solid move.

At 32, the Seahawks could have taken whoever they wanted. Do they have a real weakness? Seeing no one they liked, they opted to trade out of the round. The Vikings took their spot and drafted QB Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater is a good kid who’s going to make people pay. Watch out for this guy. He’ll be going to pro bowls for years to come.

 

Punter NFL Draft Preview

The NFL Draft kicks off in less than 48 hours. While we won’t see punters go day 1 or 2, there should be a good stock for day 3. This is your official punter preview.

Steven Clark

Steven Clark is Mel Kiper’s top punter prospect this year. He has been in the running for the Ray Guy Award for three straight years. With only five punts actually returned this year when he punted, this guy could be a future star.

College: Auburn

Height: 6’5′

Weight: 230

Projection: Day 3 pick. Don’t be surprised if a team like the Steelers go after him. They’re known for their poor punting situation right now.

Solid Day 3 Pick Image from theplainsman.com

Solid Day 3 Pick
Image from theplainsman.com

 

Kirby Van Der Kamp

As a punter, experience is key and Van Der Kamp has just that. He started as a true freshman and never lost the position. He holds a big 12 record of most punts and was the team captain in 2013. His experience being a captain means he can be a leader which is invaluable on a punt team.

College: Iowa State

Height: 6’3′

Weight: 202

Projection: He’s a personal favorite of mine mostly for his experience and leadership ability as a former captain. If he gets drafted, he’ll be a late day 3 pick. Accuracy is also pretty good. The only question is his leg strength.

Image from amestrib.com

Image from amestrib.com

 

Pat O’Donnell

He went to the University of Miami and handled punting and kickoff duties. His versatility in that regard will help him in the NFL. He had a fantastic 47.1 AVG this past year. He has good leg strength, but his ratio of punts/IN20 is not all that good. Out of 53 punts, he had 11 go IN20.

College: The U

Height: 6’5′

Weight: 220

Projection: He will most likely be an undrafted free agent in this year’s draft. He should get his chance with a team and just might impress.

Pat O'Donnell

 

 

The Importance of Punter Stats

When you read my punter profiles, you may become confused at times with the load of gibberish that I type in those stats. I mean what’s “LNG” mean? Is it important to have a high number in “IN 20?” Well, fear not, for I can answer these questions. Let’s go on a breakdown.

Punts: Punts mean punts. Obviously, the goal is not to have to punt very often, but this can help in judging consistency. If a guy has 100 punts and only gets 5 inside the 20 yard line, it’s time to find a new punter!

Yds: Yds is short for yards. This is the complete distance of all of a player’s punts. Obviously, this is a very high number. This is looked at often but NET Yds is more important.

NET Yds: This is short for net yards. This statistic does not just tell you the total number of yards. This subtracts yards for touch backs and possible returns. This gives a more complete picture of a punter’s abilities. NET Yds is a very important stat for punters.

LNG: LNG means how long a punt travels on someone’s farthest punt. This can be an exciting stat to look at. When you see these huge numbers, you think this must mean the guy’s good, but LNG can be a very inaccurate look at a punter’s ability. We’re talking about one punt out of 70-90 a guy does a year. That’s not a good representation of a guy’s abilities. LNG should be considered a statistic that accompanies the important statistics. Use the important statistics to see the importance of LNG.

AVG: AVG stands for average. Average is the average distance of your punts. It can be a good indicator of consistency in a punter’s season.

NET AVG: NET AVG stands for net average. Like net yards, net average takes the return yards and touch backs into consideration to get a realistic look at the punter’s power and ability.

BLK: BLK stands for blocks allowed. This is a no-no in the punting world. Although, blocks are typically the men protecting the punter’s fault, it could mean the punter is not getting the ball off his foot fast enough. It also can tell you if the special teams unit is lacking.

OOB: OOB stands for out of bounds. This can be a good stat if you are coffin corner punter. OOB can also be a bad thing. If you’re hitting them out of bounds all the time, but they aren’t going inside the 20, this can be a problem. I’m sure Tom Coughlin would’ve liked for Matt Dodge to punt the ball out of bounds a few years back.

Sorry Giants fans...  Image from zimbio.com

Sorry Giants fans…
Image from zimbio.com

DN: DN stands for downed punts. This is more a stat for the special teams unit. A good, hardworking special teams unit with the help of a punter can get lots of downed punts.

IN 20: This is the holy grail of punting stats. Where punters make it or break it. IN 20 stands for punts that land inside the 20 yard line. The more punts you have inside the 20, the more field position you aren’t giving away. You factor this stat in with the total number of punts to get a percentage of how many of your punts are landing in the perfect spot–inside the opponent’s 20 yard line.

TB: TB stands for touch backs allowed. This is something that can ruin a guy’s career. Punters don’t want or need touch backs. That’s like giving away field position. This is an absolute no-no for any punter. Touch backs can be hard to control, but they’ve got to find a way.

FC: FC stands for fair catches allowed. It’s kind of toss up. It can be good if it’s inside the 20, but it can be bad if it’s outside the 20.

RET: RET stands for returns allowed. As a punter you don’t want to give up many returns. You run the risk of the other team getting better field position or scoring.

RET Yds: RET Yds stands for return yards allowed. Giving up return yards makes you look like a bad special teams unit as a whole. The less return yards you give up, the worse the field position for the opponent.

TD: TD stands for touchdowns allowed. This is another no-no. You can’t give up touchdowns on punts. Just ask Matt Dodge and Tom Coughlin

Punters are people too! Image from crossingbroad.com

Punters are people too!
Image from crossingbroad.com

Punter Profile: Broncos Punter Britton Colquitt

Britton Colquitt is a prestigious member of the first family of NFL punters. Britton. Dustin, and their dad Craig all have NFL punting experience. They even have a cousin who punted in college! Britton is an interesting case. Although he owns the Broncos best career gross and net AVG record, he’s not as good when you stack him up against other punters in the league. Although, he does play with Peyton Manning so he’s not having to punt the ball much.

Age: 29

Weight: 205 lbs.

Height: 6-3

Experience: 5

College: Tennesee

2014 Stats: 65 Punts, 2893 Yds, 2559 NET Yds, 60 LNG, 44.5 AVG, 38.8 NET AVG, 1 OOB, 8 DN, 23 IN 20, 3 TB, 25 FC, 28 RET, 274 RET Yds Allowed

(To find a good breakdown of all the punters in the league, go to Bleacher Report’s “B/R NFL 1000” for a rundown of the punters in the league from 32-1! http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2030491-br-nfl-1000-top-32-punters)

The Koffin Korner

Image from fansided.com

Image from fansided.com

 

 

 

Steelers Solve Punting Position with Adam Podlesh…

The Steelers solved their punting position with Adam Podlesh Tuesday… They signed the punter to a one year deal. If I were a Steeler fan, I’d be very weary of this move. Podlesh had a horrendous year last year. This was a team that had some special teams issues last year and I don’t know how much better it will get with this signing. We’ll see how it works out, but I’m not so sure about this one.

Redskins Sign Punter Blake Clingan and Bills Sign Jake Dombrowski

News in the punting world came yesterday. The Redskins signed punter Blake Clingan. The Redskins released Sav Rocca a while back and have to find a new punter. They also signed Robert Malone in January. Here’s a little info on Blake Clingan:

Clingan originally played with Lions. He was signed as a undrafted free agent last year. He went to UCF (Central Florida) and never played in the regular season last year.

Preseason Stats:

13 Punts, 41.5 AVG, 55 LNG, 6 IN20

I would think Clingan is coming in to just add some competition for Malone. Malone has more experience than Clingan, having punted in the regular season for the Jets and Buccaneers, and I would be shocked if he didn’t win the starting job. Expect Malone to win this battle.

 

Clingan is most likely competition for Malone. Image from twitter.com

Clingan is most likely competition for Malone.
Image from twitter.com

 

More news came when the Bills sign Jake Dombrowski. He’s also competition for Brian Moorman. Dombrowski went to Harvard and has no previous NFL experience. Expect Moorman to win this battle. Although, the Bills know Moorman is not getting any younger, I wouldn’t be surprised if they draft a punter either this year or next year.

Jake Dombrowski Image from gocrimson.com

Jake Dombrowski
Image from gocrimson.com