Punters and Place Kickers Combine Workout

The punters and place kickers got their turn in the NFL Combine spotlight at the RCA Dome as practice sessions finally got underway. There were a few surprises as well as disappointments among the kickers who worked out for NFL coaches and scouts.

The two punters who most improved their draft stock were Ryan Plackemeier of Wake Forest and Joel Steely from Louisiana-Monroe.

Plackemeier knocked three of his punts past 50 yards, the longest being a 55-yarder. Most of his hang times hovered in the mid-to-low 4.4 second area.

Steely also had three punts over fifty-yards including a 56-yarder. Steely's hang times were consistently over 4.5-seconds.

Though not punting the ball far, 48-yards being his longest, Tom Malone of USC had the best hang times. For the most part Malone was over 4.7-seconds, the best being 4.91-seconds.

After a good performance at the Senior Bowl, John Torp of Colorado performed below expectations. Torp had only one punt over 40 yards though his hang-times were steadily in the 4.5-second range.

Steve Weatherford did not rebound well after being snubbed by the Senior Bowl. Weatherford had only three punts over 40-yards, the longest being 47.

None of the place-kickers stood out. In fact not a single kicker was able to get a kick-off into the end zone from the pro-mark.

Jon Scifres of Missouri State and Josh Huston from Ohio State were both solid with their field goal attempts. Each made a pair from 50-yards, though none of the successful attempts had great clearance from that distance.

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