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Mr. Irrelevant DraftTracker: Kickers/Punters
ESPN The Magazine

As a rule, teams start looking to pick up kickers and punters in the last few rounds, which makes these guys prime candidates for Mr. I status. Because of the league's biased view on kickers, though, even the best might not go 'til last. That makes it hard to choose just one. So here are four punter/kickers who might grab the Lowsman Trophy.

Name: Dan Hadenfeldt
Position: Punter
School: Nebraska
Vitals: 5'10" 205 pounds
Stats: In 1999 and 2000, punted 104 times for a 44.7 average with 30 inside the 20 yard-line.
Notes: Was granted a sixth year of eligibility right before last year's draft so he stayed in school. ... Great leg strength and a two-step punter to boot, but needs time to develop, which kickers don't usually get in the NFL. Could also kick off for an NFL team, which helps his chances ... Oh the life of a kicker -- one scouting report has him listed as Dan Hadenfelt, another has him as David Hadenfeldt ... Jewish Sports Review named him to its 1999 All-America team.

Name: Billy Gramatica
Position: Kicker
School: South Florida
Vitals: 5'9", 188 pounds (soaking wet with lots of spare change in his pockets)
Stats: Converted 16 of 24 kicks and missed only one inside the 40 last season. A whopping 62% of his kickoffs went into the end zone.
Notes: The most relevant of our four kicker candidates for Mr. Irrelevant because of his showing in post-season all-star games ... A raw talent with more power than accuracy ... The younger brother of Bucs kicker Martin Gramatica; he kicked a 63-yard field goal last year.

Name: Owen Pochman
Position: Kicker
School: Brigham Young
Vitals: 6'0", 180 pounds
Stats: Did not miss an extra point in 29 attempts last year but was 19-of-24 in field goals, including nine-of-14 from beyond 40 yards.
Notes: High-scoring Pochman is BYU's all-time leading scorer, but will still need to prove to teams he can kick at sea level, unless the Broncos draft him ...Won't exactly help kickers improve their image. Loves cats and hopes a New York team drafts him so he can continue to model, and has also been working on a book on love.

Name: Jamie Rheem
Position: Kicker
School: Kansas State
Vitals: 6'2", 190 pounds
Stats: Nailed 85% of his field goals as a junior and senior, including several game winners and a 3-for-3 performance in a 29-28 win over Nebraska.
Notes: Scored a 26 on the Wonderlic ... Kicked five FGs against Texas in 1999 ... Only fourth Wildcat to ever score 100 points in a season ... A perfect example of how even the best kickers won't get picked 'till late in the draft. But don't take our word for it -- go to The Jamie Rheem Shrine.

Next: I introduce Mr. Irrelevant. Unofficially, I missed predicting Mr. I XXVI by eight picks. On my (yes, unpublished) radar screen for the selection was DT Tyrone Robertson from Hinds JuCo in Mississippi, who was taken by the Bills at #238. Another close call was Princeton lineman Dennis Norman, who went to Seattle with pick 222. Officially the closest I came was BYU kicker Owen Pochman, who went to New England at 216. So I missed by 40 picks, which, in the world of draft gurus, makes me Mr. Irrelevant.

 

 

 



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