Top Punter Kicks For Packers

This top prospect would provide a major upgrade to a unit that struggled to pin opponents consistently inside the 20-yard line last season. He worked out for the Packers recently and met with them at the Combine.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson on Friday said he wouldn't rule out adding a third punter to the equation.

That could be Virginia Tech's Brent Bowden. Bowden, who is recognized by most insiders as one of the top three punters in the draft, has been put under the microscope by the Packers, sources told Packer Report.

Bowden met with the Packers at the Scouting Combine and they worked him out recently on the Virginia Tech campus, our sources said. If added with a late-round pick or, possibly, as an undrafted free agent, he'd enter training camp as the favorite against Tim Masthay, an undrafted rookie last year from Kentucky, and Aussie Chris Bryan.

A huge black mark against last year's punter, Jeremy Kapinos, was his inability to pin opponents inside the 20-yard line. The Packers ranked last in the NFL in inside-the-20 punts with 15 and were tied for next-to-last with 10 touchbacks.

That has been a strength of Bowden. As the Hokies' punter for the last three seasons, he landed 72 punts inside the 20-yard line with 28 touchbacks.

Another black mark against Kapinos is he forced only seven fair catches among 66 punts, or 10.7 percent. Last year, when Bowden averaged a career-high 43.8 yards per punt, 21.1 percent of his punts resulted in fair catches.

None of his 214 career punts were blocked. Plus, Bowden served as the Hokies' kick holder for the last two seasons.


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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 packwriter2002@yahoo.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.


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