[Remember to check the '2010 NFL Draft' section for all stories relating to the draft.]
Today let's do something a little different with our Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile. Let's talk about a player our New York Giants almost certainly WILL NOT DRAFT this April.
That would be Michigan's massive punter, the 6-foot-5, 231-pound Zoltan Mesko.
Forget, for just a minute, about all the reasons for not using a draft pick on a punter. Think about the possibilities for a second.
Say you draft Mesko, and he beats out Jeff Feagles. Then Sam Swank beats out Lawrence Tynes as placekicker.
You would have Zoltan holding for Swank, which is a lot cooler to say than 'Feagles holding for Tynes.' You could also be hearing lots of "tackle by ROOOOO--LANDO" over the PA at the Giants new stadium. Or maybe "that's a sack by Seeergio."
Throw in Bear Pascoe making the team as a backup tight end and the Giants might be the NFL's all-name team. Good luck, Joe Buck!
Seriously, though, Mesko is a guy with a booming leg, a reputation for also being able to kick directionally, and the ability to drive the ball deep on kickoffs. Plus, he's got those guns. That's gotta count for something, especially in a kicker.
I would fall out of my chair if the Giants used a late-round pick on Mesko. But, let's take a closer look anyway.
Zoltan Mesko Scouting Reports
From Draft Breakdown.
Extremely accurate, and can still boot the ball with the best of them. Has a lot of experience as a punter, holder, and kickoff specialist. Most of his kickoffs (89%) went into the end zone. ...
Has the best name in the draft, and isn’t too shabby as a punter either. Will come in and start immediately and probably save a team a roster spot because of his kickoff abilities. Holds punts and punt average records at Michigan.
From Fantasy Football Toolbox.
Mesko averaged 41.6 and 41.1 yards per punt as a freshman and sophomore respectively. He improved those numbers as junior, punting a career high 80 times for an average of 43.0 yards. He improved again as a senior, averaging 44.5 yards per punt in 2009. Mesko has had 78 punts downed inside of the 20 yard line during his time at Michigan, which is a 30 percent rate. The aspect of his game that has improved the most however, is his accuracy. He has learned to kick directionally and take something off a kick to pin opponents deeper in their own territory. His combination of accuracy and power should make him the first punter selected in the 2010 draft -- somewhere in the late fifth or sixth round.
Why Mesko fits with the Giants
The guy is a terrific punter with a big leg and directional ability. Feagles, who may or may not be back, has the directional ability but can't hit the bomb that will kick the Giants out of a field position hole. Mesko might be able to. He could likely also handle kickoffs for the Giants, an area where Tynes was near the bottom of the league in 2009. Thus, he has multiple skills the Giants could really use.
Why the Giants should pass
Conventional wisdom is that you just don't draft punters, and the Giants will probably follow that convention. They have lots of other needs, and they will probably still have Feagles. The ageless Feagles did not have a great year in 2009, but he is still a quality kicker and if he wants to continue punting the Giants will probably let him. Maybe they bring in a punter as an undrafted free agent to compete, but if Feagles does not retire the Giants can probably find other ways to use their late-round draft picks.
(E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Big Blue View on Twitter.)