The punters and place kickers took to the RCA Dome Friday afternoon as practice sessions finally got underway. There were a few surprises as well as disappointments.
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.