One of the many benefits of having so many late round picks is that the top special teams players tend to drop to the end of the draft. Kickers and Punters are all regarded as secondary players (unless you're Al Davis) as teams select players who play every down- a valid reason. The drop in draft choice for these players is a great benefit for the New England Patriots, who own seven 6th and 7th round picks. We are in the need for a punter we can trust and who can perform- something we haven't really seen this whole decade. Chris Hanson is most likely a goner as we try and grab a late round punter.
Here are some punters that the Patriots have shown interest in and who should be available at the end of the draft:
A four-year starter at Michigan, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Mesko, who is Romanian-born, averaged a career-high 44.5 yards per attempt this past season. Mesko ranks second in school history with a 42.5-yard average, and he got stronger and improved his distance and hangtime every year. This offseason, Mesko participated in the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine, and while he’s considered to be a top specialist in this year’s class, he’s still developing and has to correct his directional punting.
Highly-regarded Virginia Tech punter Brent Bowden conducted private workouts for the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday and the New England Patriots on Friday, according to an NFL source.
Bowden is one of the top-ranked punters available in the draft.
The 6-foot-3, 202-pounder was a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection.
He averaged 43.9 yards per punt last season.
The fact that we're looking at punters alludes to the fact that we'll be moving on from Chris Hanson. With all of our late round picks, and so few roster slots available on offensive and defensive positions, it makes sense to grab a top ranked punter who will be an improvement for our team.