2009 Draft Countdown: Specialists

With the 2009 NFL draft only days away, we offer our extensive position-by-position breakdown. Each report includes an analysis of the Dolphins' status at the position, the likelihood of a draft pick being spent at the position, a look at which prospects the Dolphins have worked out or visited with, a list of the top prospects, and the sleepers. We continue with the specialists.

Where the Dolphins stand: The Dolphins have everybody back from last year, kicker Dan Carpenter, punter Brandon Fields and long-snapper John Denney. Carpenter is coming off an impressive rookie season; Fields was a bit inconsistent but showed a big leg at times; and Denney again was very dependable. The Dolphins recently signed Australian native Jy Bond, a 30-year-old with a big leg who hopes to follow in the footsteps of Aussie punters Darren Bennett, Rav Socca and Ben Graham. He will try to unseat Fields as the Dolphins punter.

Likelihood of the Dolphins using a pick at the position: Extremely unlikely. Bill Parcells has never been a fan of spending draft picks on kicking game specialists and the Dolphins don't have to because they're in good shape with Carpenter, Fields and Denney.

The top prospects: 1. K Louie Sakoda, Utah; 2. P Kevin Huber, Cincinnati; 3. K David Buehler, USC; 4. K Graham Gano, Florida State; 5. LS Jake Ingram, Hawaii; 6. K Jose Martinez, UTEP; 7. P Thomas Morstead, SMU; 8. LS Sean Griffin, Michigan; 9. P Justin Brantly, Texas A&M; 10. P Matt Fodge, Oklahoma State

Summary: As usual, there'll be maybe a half-dozen specialists drafted. The only who really stands out is Sakoda, who could get drafted as early as the fourth round. Buehler might be the best kickoff specialist of the bunch.

Sleepers: K Tom Schneider, North Alabama, K Robbie Dehaze, Northern Arizona


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