#3, Steven Hauschka, PK
(6016, 190, 4.90-5.00 est.) North Carolina State
Notes: Born 6/29/85, in Needham, Mass. His father, Peter, went to training camp as a punter and placekicker with the Dallas Cowboys in 1967, having never played organized football before that training camp. He played soccer and ran track instead at Amherst College. Playing soccer at Needham High School in Needham, Mass., he didn't play high school football.
College: Originally attended Middlebury College (Division III) where he played junior varsity soccer as a freshman. He didn't play football until his sophomore year, appearing in 7 of 8 games in 2004; converting 6 of 10 field goal attempts (1 of 4 from beyond 40 yards) and 11 of 12 extra point attempts. Also punted 46 times, averaging 37.1 yards with 13 inside the 20 and a long of 55 yards. He played in all 8 games in 2005; was 4 of 6 on FGAs (one blocked, 1 of 2 from 40-plus) and 15 of 18 on XPAs; averaged 32.8 punting with a long of 46 and 7 inside the 20. Appearing in all 8 games in 2006, he converted 10 of 12 FGAs and 9 of 10 XPAs; averaged 37.9 punting with 17 inside the 20 and a long of 72 yards. Majored in neuroscience at Middlebury. He was named to the D3football.com second-team All-East team.
He arrived at N.C. State in 2007 and won the kicking job; made 16 of 18 FGAs (long of 49 with a clutch game-winner in overtime against Miami, Fla.), 25 of 25 on XPAs, and averaged 63.5 on 57 kickoffs with 12 touchbacks. Hauschka enrolled in graduate school for Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at N.C. State. He has interviewed for the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, which he hopes to attend whenever his football days are over.
Pro: Originally signed by the Vikings as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2008 NFL Draft. Also had a strong offer from the Baltimore Ravens, and other teams expressed interest, as well. Hauschka has worked with former Vikings special teams coordinator Gary Zauner, including at his camp earlier this summer in Wisconsin.
Positives: He appears to be very technically/mechanically sound, thick-skinned and is also strong on kickoffs, averaging 63.5 with 12 touchbacks as a senior. Has a smooth, consistent stroke and follow-through. Adequate size. Decent athlete. Was very accurate his senior year and showed fine range. Has shown marked improvement every year. Good get-off speed - among the fastest scouts have seen. Can handle kickoffs. Has delivered under pressure.
Negatives: Has only one season of Division I experience and is not truly battle tested over a long period of time. Missed a couple kicks in November and could be affected by the weather.
Summary: Intriguing prospect who has the ability to kick in the NFL. Some scouts had him as the top-rated college placekicker coming out this year. He could be a surprise in training camp who pushes veteran Ryan Longwell if he can be consistent. His ability to handle kickoffs effectively would also enhance his chances of sticking. However, with kickers, the incumbent is almost always the incumbent until someone clearly beats them out.
What they said:
"A soccer-style kicker with good long-distance range, a consistent approach and ice in his veins to come through in the clutch. Should win a job right away." - Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly
"Has all the physical tools and can do everything you ask. Had he been with the Wolfpack for four years we may have been talking about him as the top kicker available and a relatively early selection. Intriguing prospect with the talent to be an NFL starter." - Scott Wright, NFL Draft Countdown
"Here's a kid that the people where he came from thought he had a big league leg. But he wasn't really [thinking] that he could make it to the NFL level. He wanted to kick at a competition at this level. He's got a very strong leg. He's very a confident kid, a mature kid. And I think all those go into play - especially if you're going to be a kicker." - Tom O'Brien, North Carolina State head coach
Rookie free agents:
Scout's Notebook: CB Travis Key
Scout's Notebook: S Marcus Griffin
Scout's Notebook: CB Marcus Walker
Scout's Notebook: DT Leger Douzable
Scout's Notebook: RB Albert Young
Scout's Notebook: CB Brandon Sumrall
Scout's Notebook: DE Martail Burnett
Join the Discussion