So ... if we need to take a K / P in this draft, how high do you think Belichick would be prepared to draft one? I'm going with one of the comp 3rds for K and the 4th for P, though I think 5th is more of the sweet spot there. Any top K / P stand out this year? @IdiotKicker @Brand Name
Co-sign your notion of the 5th, but better value for that pick has of course already been traded for. That said if BB wants a K and/or P in this draft, I'd try to move down using #134. See if you can't do like a pick swap around this range for next year and get maybe an early 6th or 7th this year.
Honestly, Tracy is a guy I'd be looking at, LSU. Big fan of the simple mechanics, especially his follow through, no flying hips or falling off to his side like a struck bowling pin. Repeatable in ease, which is something I don't like saying much because it's frankly too often not true. Consistency is also there, which while we could say this about, say, Aguayo, a few years back, IK and I both saw issues with his skip step.
I like the leg strength of John Baron II given last season at 5/5 at 50+, but I do not trust him to be consistent enough to succeed at this level, though probably someone gives him at least a shot in at least August. Right now I feel the same way about the 2020 grouping, if you want to think a little further out; a great top kicker (UGA's Blankenship), but a shallow class.
To contrast, going few the past few years of my #1 Ks since I started doing this historically a few years ago: Zane was the same as Roberto mechanically. That is to say, both had (relatively) lofty expectations of being surefire K1s, skip step issues, amazing make rate, and then an unsurprising adjustment by the teams leading to losses. Last year Carlson was coming off a drop year from performance, just by the numbers alone from 2016 to 2017 at Auburn. That to me is always a red flag. There isn't much reason, short of playing through injury, why a guy at K/P should be declining in upperclassmen years at the collegiate level. Tracy hasn't got those issues.
One of my 1A/1B punters is a guy I trust your familiarity with more than mine, actually, Jack Fox, given his school.
It's going to sound Madden-ish, but some of the questions I'd ask myself of any punter have awareness basis, which surprisingly isn't as basic as you'd think. This internal monologue asks me if a punter is taking into account his field position, how much he's being pressured and choosing a proper punt choice? In other words, are we screwing with rugby punts with a successful house brought, and if so, is that out of necessity from the snap? This comes before I look at anything surrounding the legs and subsequent technique.
At the same time, some of the reason I adore love ST is that guys often make/upload their own reels to sell themselves, to get the full experience. Fox is no exception
. Breaking down his film, great stuff, plus a very strong showing from what I saw at the E-W Shrine Game. Statistically, he follows the trend of having YPP grow each of the past three seasons, so you're getting a good floor with probably solid upside.
Mechanically, can't give too much away here since I want to do this as an ITP piece soon given the timing pertinence, but I freaking love how straight and compact the arch is on Fox's punting leg when the ball leaves the foot. That matters for a few reasons. First and foremost, it makes landing a bit easier overall, which ties into my next point. The less you have to angle your arch, the less chance a return team can mess with the ball and/or you. Think about how for a moment when a punt is blocked. Usually, those players are coming at an angle towards the outside of the player. Fox is more to his interior at point of release, so that affords him a split second extra to get the punt off.
My 1B? Jack Bailey, Stanford. Concerns me a bit that he went down in average, but at the same time, he had a quote in the SF Chronicle that I agree with. To paraphrase, context matters of every punt, for the stuff I discussed in the preview. At the same time, I think he's got to be more consistent, and a five-game sample of averaging 42.0 yards per punt or under shouldn't be something we see with an upper echelon guy like this, not in his senior year. However, I think he gives you probably the best upside, because when Bailey booms, he smashes it, including a Hekkerish personal best of 84 yards. Tends to open up a bit when rushed which is something you could pick on him for.
To try to draw this to the non football world of how and why this matters, think about Mario Bros games and being hit by a Koopa or something. Those all have hitboxes, right? Well, Bailey's hitbox is more prone to that than most, if you get my analogy. It doesn't impact the punt by itself but it runs a risk that otherwise wouldn't normally exist.
Bit of a sidebar rant, relative to people I like this draft: It's a project I need to get around crunching numbers for but I do not view Utah guys (Gay, Wishnowsky) as highly as most do until I can find a proper adjustment weight to deal with the altitude unless Denver picks them up. Just absurd to see the Utes consistently get guys perceived this high on the inside, where the mechanics don't back such assertations up. It draws parallels the good piece you wrote about for ITP and the nonsense of ball velocity: Stats are great but we have to view them in the proper context of the larger picture here, especially in something as mechanical driven in its complexity as football.