Ryan Allen, P, Louisiana Tech
Height: 6-2. Weight: 215. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/23/13: Allen averaged 48 yards per punt in 2012. He was a real weapon for Louisiana Tech. Allen did a good job of punting at the Senior Bowl and helped himself. He averaged 52.4 yards per punt on five attempts with a long of 54 in the Senior Bowl game.
9/3/12: Allen was fifth in the nation in punting last season, averaging 46.12 yards per kick. He won the 2011 Ray Guy Award over some excellent punters like Bryan Anger and Brad Wing. Allen led the nation with 39 punts downed inside the 20 and 22 punts downed inside the 10. He had a long punt of 72 yards.
Allen averaged 40.8 yards per punt in 2010. He did not play while being on the Oregon State football team the previous two seasons.
Brad Wing**, P, LSU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 184. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/23/13: If Wing didn't have off-the-field issues, he could be a mid-round pick. Teams are even less tolerant with off-the-field problems when it comes to specialists.
Wing averaged 45 yards per punt in 2012 and wasn't the force he was in 2011. Wing was suspended for the Chik-fil-A Bowl for violating team rules. He declared for the 2013 NFL Draft as a result.
9/3/12: Wing was phenomenal for LSU in 2011. He was a First-Team All-American and First-Team SEC selection. Wing put up a superb stat line with an average of 44.1 yards per punt (50 total punts), 23 downed inside the 20-yard line, 11 downed inside the 10-yard line, 18 punts of 50+ yards and a long punt of 73 yards. It was his first season punting for LSU after redshirting in 2010.
The sophomore enters the 2012 season as the top punter in the nation.
Jeff Locke, P, UCLA
Height: 6-3. Weight: 218. Projected Round (2011): 6-FA. 4/23/13: It wouldn't be surprising if Locke is the first punter selected. He is very close to Wing and Allen. Locke punted well at the Senior Bowl, averaging 45 yards per punt with a long of 53 and two punts downed inside the 20 in the actual game. The senior averaged 43 yards per punt for the Bruins in 2012. Locke was a 4-year starter who punted well as a junior (44 yards per punt), sophomore (46 yards per punt) and freshman (44 yards per punt).
Quinn Sharp, P/K, Oklahoma State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 205. Projected Round (2013): 6-FA. 4/23/13: Sharp was 28-of-33 on field goals in 2012. In addition to kicking, he did well as a punter. Sharp was a kicker at the Senior Bowl and had a decent week. He may not get drafted, but would be a good training camp competitor.
9/3/12: Sharp was a Third-Team All-America selection in 2011. He averaged 46.3 yards per punt with 12 downed inside the 20 last year. Sharp also served as Oklahoma State's kicker and made 22-of-25 field goals, but did not attempt a kick in the 50-yard range. He has a strong and accurate leg, and led the nation with 61 touchbacks on kickoffs.
It was his first year as the placekicker after being the Cowboys punter starting in 2009. He's averaged 45.8 yards per punt in his career. Sharp could be drafted as a punter or kicker in 2013.
Alex Dunnachie, P, Hawaii
Height: 6-4. Weight: 220. Projected Round (2013): 7-FA. 4/23/13: Dunnachie is a big-legged punter who can change field position. The senior averaged 46 yards per punt in 2012 with a long punt of 73 yards. He averaged 40 yards per punt as a junior, 43 yards in his sophomore season and 39 yards as a freshman.
Tress Way, P, Oklahoma
Height: 6-1. Weight: 215. Projected Round (2011): 7-FA. 4/23/13: Way averaged 44 yards per punt in 2012. He probably will go undrafted.
9/3/12: Way had a quality junior season with an average of 42 yards. He had 17 punts over 50 yards with 34 downed inside the 20-yard line. Way averaged 44 yards per punt in 2010, and he has a career average of 44.4 yards.
Way's accuracy has improved in that he has reduced his touchbacks over the past three seasons. He had 22 punts over 50 yards in 2009 and 19 over 50 in 2010.
Ian Campbell, P, UTEP
Height: 5-11. Weight: 170. Projected Round (2011): FA. 4/23/13: Campbell averaged 43 yards per punt in 2012.
9/3/12: Campbell was fourth in the nation with an average of 46.13 yards per punt last season. He punted for an average of 45.1 yards in 2010. Campbell had 17 punts over 50 yards with eight touchbacks, eight fair catches and 15 punts landed inside the 20. That was his first season with UTEP.
If Campbell improves, the senior could be a selected in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Jackson Rice, P, Oregon
Height: 6-3. Weight: 218. Projected Round (2011): FA. 4/23/13: Rice averaged 40 yards per punt in 2012, but he was usually aiming for shorter punts to down the ball inside the 20-yard line.
9/3/12: Rice had a strong 2011 season, averaging 45.9 yards per punt with a long of 61. He downed 17 inside in the 20-yard line. Rice improved from 2010 when he averaged 42.3 yards per punt. His average was 40.5 yards per punt in 2009. Rice needs to continue that trend to get drafted.
I'll admit I was as shocked as everyone on draft night. It took me a dew days to regain my senses and delve into what Pace actually did this off-season. This rant basically mirrors my sentiments exactly. Time will tell if this was a genius move by Pace or not, but you have to give him credit for being ballsy and aggressive.