In this series, he produces his all-Senior Bowl mock Packers draft. Opinions are based on his observations, and conversations with Scout.com draft analyst Chris Steuber and league scouts who were in Mobile.
The Packers are on the clock ...
Seventh round: P Matt Dodge, East Carolina
The Packers desperately need to upgrade their punting situation. Among punters who had at least 32 attempts this season, the Packers' Jeremy Kapinos tied for 32nd in the league with a net average of 34.1 yards per kick. Despite having 10 fewer punts than any of the top eight punters in terms of return yards allowed, Kapinos yielded the sixth-most. Worse, his ratio of inside-the-20 punts (15) to touchbacks (10) was the worst in the NFL, and his seven fair catches ranked 33rd.
The team already has added Tim Masthay, an undrafted rookie last year out of Kentucky who spent part of training camp with the Colts. But his directional kicking skills weren't up to snuff with the Wildcats — as a senior, he was replaced by the backup when the team needed a pooch kick.
Dodge — with a muscular physique comparable to a linebacker — will be a work in progress. When he's good, he's incredibly good. Dodge excelled in the game, averaging 48.8 yards with a long of 59 on five attempts. At practice, however, he either hit 55-yard bombs or 30-yard end-over-enders. There was almost no middle ground and nothing resembling consistency. He even had one blocked because of his relatively slow get-off time.
Make some necessary improvements and turn those ghastly punts into a 40-yarder that produces a fair catch, and he'll be a top-five punter for many years.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.