Despite his banner sophomore and senior seasons, teams are still concerned about Kyle Christy’s inconsistency, which stems from a very slow, methodical kicking approach. With a touch-to-toe time of 2.22 seconds, one of the worst in this group, it is amazing that he has had only two of his 181 punts blocked during his career.
Where Christy does compensate for his slow approach is with fantastic hang times that have averaged 4.72-4.88 seconds during his career. He has smaller than ideal hands, but shows developed thighs and calves. He does a good job of turning over his punts, as he has the leg strength to boom towering punts for both hang time and distance.
Last season, he became much more effective angling his punts toward the sidelines as a senior, having placed 66 of his 181 attempts inside the 20-yard line during his career. iHis generally long hang times resulted in the opposition calling for 57 fair catches, including 17 in 2014. He has adequate timed speed to get down field and support the coverage unit (seems to shy away from contact, though).
Christy is always very well prepared for his upcoming opponent, putting in the extra hours in the film room studying the punt returner’s tendencies. He is the type that makes good mental adjustments on the field and thrives in pressure situations, doing a good job of blocking out any distractions on the field. He has the leg strength to explode into the ball on contact, as his punts accelerate at a very fast pace, getting good rise to prevent it from being blocked (compensates for his slow approach).
He can field the ball cleanly and has the soft hands, along with timing and leaping ability to adjust to the poor snaps. He also demonstrates the ability to launch long kicks on a steady basis (55 for 50 yards or longer as a Gator). He just needs to improve his marginal catch-to-kick timing, but he shows no wasted motion in his follow-through. The ball comes off his foot sharply, demonstrating excellent follow-through and extension to get a very good rise on his kicks.
Christy is effective at getting the ball right down the middle of the field and showed marked improvement with his angles on pooch punts as a senior compared to 2013, when his poor sideline placement led to his benching. He will generally will use a two-step approach, but based on field position, he will sometimes lengthen it by a half step, making his kicking time look even more bit deliberate (also affects his hang time, as he will average 4.8 seconds with his hang time on a two-step approach, but it drops to an average of 4.0 seconds or lower when taking extra steps).
Even with a good amount of his kicks downed inside the 20-yard line, Christy will go through stretches where he gets caught up in kicking for long distances, kicking the ball away rather than trying to position it towards the sidelines. He has good athletic skills, adequate strength and timed speed, yet did not register any tackles in his role as the safety valve on the coverage units (seems a bit reluctant to get involved in contact as a tackler, preferring to let others handle that job).
Kyle Christy Scouting Combine measurables
30-inch arm length
8 7/8-inch hands
Dave-Te’ Thomas is a sports writer, talent evaluator and scouting personnel consultant for a majority of teams in the National Football League. Thomas runs a scouting information service called NFL Scouting Services and produces THE NFL Draft Report, a publication provided by league headquarters to the media in preparation for the NFL Draft.
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