Monday, March 22, 2010

2010 NFL Draft: Top Placekickers

With the 2010 NFL Draft just a month away, I will be highlighting the top players at each position in this year's class.

These are my top placekicker prospects available in the 2010 NFL Draft.

1. Leigh Tiffin, Alabama

A three-and-a-half year kicker for the Crimson Tide, Tiffin excelled despite kicking for one of the nation's best teams, converting 30 of 35 (86%) field-goal attempts a senior and 75 percent of his career field goals.

Easily the draft's best kicker, Tiffin will likely come off the board sometime on the third day of the draft, possibly as early as the fifth or sixth round.

2. Aaron Pettrey, Ohio State

Although he's had some injury problems with a hip strain in 2007 and a torn MCL as a senior, Pettrey was an overall solid placekicker for the Buckeyes with 74 percent of field-goal attempts converted in three seasons.

Pettrey has a very strong leg, making him someone that should be picked on the third day of the draft as a kickoff specialist and project on field goals.

3. Hunter Lawrence, Texas

After kicking off during his first two college seasons, Lawrence spent his final two years as the Longhorns' placekicker, converting 34 of 39 (87%) attempts.

A reliable kicker with solid leg strength, Lawrence has a chance to be selected on the draft's final day.

4. Brett Swenson, Michigan State

A three-year starting placekicker for the Spartans, Swenson improved from a 68-percent field-goal rate to an 86-percent mark as a senior.

Swenson's lack of kickoff production will hurt his draft stock, but he could be drafted very late. If not, he'll be picked up as an undrafted free agent.

5. Mike Salerno, Northern Illinois

An All-MAC selection after each of his two seasons as the Huskies' primary plackicker, Salerno converted 76 percent of field-goal attempts and all but two extra-point attempts.

Salerno has kicking and punting experience, meaning he'll probably earn a job as a camp leg this summer.

Who are your top placekickers in this year's draft class? Share your thoughts on the forum here!