2011 NFL Combine: Kickers/ Punters That Have A Lot To Gain And Lose

Last year, the 49ers went through a few different place kickers. Joe Nedney has been relatively clutch throughout his career, but is now inching his way closer to the old geezer zone. Nedney will be 38 years old before the season begins and there has been much debate amongst the fanbase as to whether or not the 49ers need to draft a kicker. Nedney went 11/13 before he was injured. While Jeff Reed put together a decent few games for the 49ers, he didn't do se well for the Steelers before his release going 0-4 on 50+ yard field goals.

So this leaves the question, do the 49ers need to draft a rookie kicker? And if so, what round would be appropriate?

The 49ers already possess one of the most dynamic punters in the NFL in Andy Lee. Lee will not be going anywhere for a while and is perhaps the best punter that the franchise has seen in it's sixty-four years in the league. This past season, Lee had 34 kicks inside the 20. Field possession plays a very big factor in every single game. It's safe to say that the 49ers are set as far as the punter position.He was the 23rd pick in the 6th round of 2004; he's got quite a bit of career ahead of him.

Last year, there were 3 punters selected in the draft, and 0 kickers. Most of this years prospects are rated in the 6th and 7th rounds. Only Alex Henery has a higher ranked status largely in part to the fact that he can play at either the kicker or punter positions. BIggest bang for your buck.

It would seem as though the 49ers could potentially draft a kicker, but are set with one of the best punters in the NFL. Below, we will take a look at some of those at both positions that have ground to gain and those who have a bit to lose.

KICKERS AND PUNTERS

Most to gain:

Devin Barclay (Ohio State - Kicker), 5'10", 205 LBS: Barclay is currently rated by CBS Sports as the 15th best kicker in college football. However, the Ohio State kicker was much better than that this year. He was slightly injured in 2009, which could be fraction of the reason as to why he is currently ranked as low as he is. Should Barclay live up to his potential at the combine, he could open some eyes and wind up being drafted. If not, he will have to work his way on as an undrafted free agent somewhere.

Ryan Donahue (Iowa - Punter), 6'2", 195 LBS: Right now, Donahue is slotted to be drafted in the 6th or 7th round. He was clutch for the Hawkeyes in getting great field posiiton. You will never see him botch a kick. He could quite potentially be the best punter in this years draft. But in order to gain ground on Chas Henry (Florida), he will most certainly have to show scouts that his leg is charged with dynamite.

Dan Bailey (Oklahoma State - Kicker), 6'0", 200 LBS: Perhaps the most underrated kicker coming out this year. Bailey is great from long range. He helped the Cowboys beat Texas A&M by going 2/2 on 50+ yard field goals. Toward the end of the year, he missed a couple mid range field goals in pretty big games. In order to move up, Bailey will have to impress the scouts and coaches in Indianapolis this year. He'll have only this shot to get people talking about him.

 

Most to lose:

Kai Forbath (UCLA - Kicker), 5'11", 190 LBS: Forbath was fairly clutch from 2007-2009, but this year he struggled a bit going 13/18 on field goals. His career has been quite streaky. The last thing most people remember from this year is his miss in the Senior Bowl where he pulled his only opportunity. Before this year, Forbath was considered to be the best prospect as a kicker. He has some stiff competition in Alex Henery. Game situations are much different than kicking at the combine, but it will still show scouts how far and how accurate Forbath has the capability to be.

Jake Rogers (Cincinnati - Kicker), 6'2", 215 LBS: Rated pretty high all year, Rogers will have to show that he is still on pace to continue elevating his game. From his freshman year to present, Rogers has just got better and better. Scouts and coaches love to see players to stay on a progressive escalator in talent. Rogers will either make or break his stock in the combine and may just have the most to lose here. One or two glitches in his game and Rogers could find himself working out for teams as a undrafted free agent.

Alex Henery (Nebraska - Kicker/ Punter), 6'1", 180 LBS: Nebraska has never seen the likes of a kicker like Henery. And most teams could follow suit and say the same. Henery is a unique talent that can both punt and kick. He is the ultimate two-for. If an NFL team drafts him, it's really quite conceivable that they could use him to do both which in turn would open up another roster spot on game day. It's most likely that Henery will be drafted solely as a kicker, but there is always that chance that he would be used in an emergency situation. 95% accuracy on the year was the best among his class. He will be the most watched at the combine which means he will be the most critisized as well. Henery will be drated, there's no question. But there are a few guys that could give him a run for his money.

 

Here is the rest of the list of guys that were invited:

BAILEY, DAN

 

OKLAHOMA ST

1

PK1

PK

BOSHER, MATT

 

MIAMI-FL

1

PK2

PT

DONAHUE, RYAN

 

IOWA

1

PK3

PT

FORBATH, KAI

 

UCLA

1

PK4

PK

FORREST, REID

 

WASHINGTON ST

1

PK5

PT

HENERY, ALEX

 

NEBRASKA

1

PK6

PK

HENRY, CHARLES

CHAS

FLORIDA

1

PK7

PT

JASPER, JOSHUA

JOSH

LOUISIANA ST

1

PK8

PK

ROGERS, JACOB

JAKE

CINCINNATI

1

PK9

PK

 

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