The Vikings are among seven NFL teams that have sent their special teams coach to work out punter Adam Podlesh, according to what a league source told Jon Scott of PatriotsInsiders.com.
In addition to the Vikings' Paul Ferraro, Podlesh also worked out for the special teams coordinators or coaches for five AFC teams and the Chicago Bears. Some of those teams also had scouts in attendance at the workouts over the last three weeks, according to the source. While he has received interest from these teams, Podlesh doesn't currently have any visits scheduled, but teams are limited in the number of official predraft visits they can have to their complex so they may not want to use one on a punter.
The Vikings already have punter Chris Kluwe under contract, so Podlesh would almost certainly have to wait to be a second-day pick or undrafted free agent if he does end up in Minnesota. That's not a knock on Podlesh's skills, but more of an indictment on the value placed on his position in the draft.
He was an all-conference punter for the Maryland Terrapins since his freshman year and was an All-America honoree last year, averaging 42.3 yards on 53 punts.
According to Scout.com, Podlesh is a "strong-legged prospect who consistently gets tremendous hang time on punts. Quickly gets the ball away, kicks moon shots and enables coverage teams to get downfield. Displays the ability to directional kick or place his punts in the short field. Makes the tackle if necessary."
He doesn't have the strongest leg, according to some analysts, but is considered one of the best athletes at the position.
Scout.com NFL expert Tom Marino, who has over 30 years experience as an NFL scout, said Podlesh had the strongest combine workout of any of the punters.
"He was clearly the star of the day, making consistently good contact with the ball," Marino wrote in his evaluation of punters working out in Indianapolis in February. "Podlesh has a very long block-point because he does something unusual in his mechanics. On the catch, he takes a step backwards before coming forward to kick, which creates more space between him and defenders rushing in to try to block a punt. Most punters take a short step forward when they catch the ball and make their adjustments. Podlesh got the tightest and most consistent spiral on his punts and he was the most effective as a directional kicker. He also showed good success at killing the ball inside the 10-yard line. I think he has the greatest chance of getting signed at the next level more quickly than the typical punter."
Marino has Podlesh ranked as the top punting prospect this year.
Vikings Work Out Punter
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