2003 Punting Prospects
P-Mark Mariscal<br>Photo:Getty Images
P-Mark Mariscal
Photo:Getty Images

Posted Jan 29, 2003

2003 Punting Prospects

Steelers punter Josh Miller had a disappointing season cut short by a shoulder injury that required surgery. Tom Rouen was brought in for the remainder of the season. Miller’s roster spot would appear to be secure given his cap number. Rouen showed minimal leg strength in relief and will most likely not be back. The Steelers could look to bring in a rookie to challenge Miller, but are unlikely to use a draft pick to do it.

Mark Mariscal
6’ 2”
200 lbs
Colorado - Senior

Following a very successful junior campaign, Mariscal has proven to be an asset for the Buffs. He demonstrated his powerful leg kicking a 68-yard punt versus Southern California.

Likely to be drafted: Third Round

Andy Groom
6’ 0”
191 lbs
Ohio State - Senior

Groom was an integral part of the Buckeyes' run at the national title. Groom doesn’t have a huge leg, but has been very consistent this past season. Has shown he can kick in a clutch.

Likely to be drafted: Fourth Round

Damon Duval
6’ 1”
187 lbs
Auburn - Senior

Possessing a very strong leg, Duval handles kickoffs, punts, and field goals for Auburn. While a clutch kicker from the 40-49 yard range, he has accuracy issues on shorter distance kicks. May be looked at as a punter and kickoff specialist in the NFL.

Likely to be drafted: Fifth Round

Jonathan Kilgo
6’ 2”
203 lbs
Georgia – Senior

Kilgo had an off year after showing improvement in each of his previous three seasons. Doesn’t have the strongest leg, but is a very consistent performer.

Likely to be drafted: Seventh Round

Undrafted Free Agents

Brooks Barnard
6’ 2”
190 lbs
Maryland – Senior

Barnard has a solid leg and generates good hang time and distance. A four-year starter for the Terps, Barnard was a finalist for the Ray Guy award.

Nate Fikse
5’ 9”
195 lbs
UCLA – Senior

Possessing a very live leg, Fikse has been a four-year starter at UCLA and even performed kicking duties his senior year. A bit undersized by NFL standards, Fikse is a very complete prospect who shows good directional skills and hang time.

Preston Gruening
5’ 10”
206 lbs
Minnesota – Senior

Had a phenomenal year in 2000, but has regressed since that time. Possesses an outstanding leg, but has had problems with consistency.

Joey Huber
6’ 5”
244 lbs
Colorado State – Senior

Huber is a big punter, with long legs and arms. Shows good mechanics, power, and gets good hang time on his punts. Lacks experience, as his senior year was only his second year punting for the Rams. Needs to get rid of the ball quicker, as his release is a bit slow.

Steve Mullins
6’ 3”
219 lbs
Utah State – Senior

A very athletic punter, Mullins played some wide receiver while at Utah State. Generates good power and hang time. The thin air of Utah may have helped his average some.

Brian Simnjanovski
6’ 3”
230 lbs
San Diego State – Senior

One of the larger punters coming out, Simnjanovski has a very strong leg and actually started his career as a kickoff specialist. Needs to work on his directional skills as well as getting the ball off quicker.

More Player Links:
Jonathan Kilgo
Brooks Barnard
Nate Fikse
Preston Gruening
Joey Huber
Steve Mullins
Brian Simnjanovski

Related Stories
2003 Kicking Prospects
 -by SteelCityInsider.net  Jan 28, 2003
Looking For A Big Finish In Football Recruiting
 -by autigers.com  Jan 30, 2003
Top 200 Draft Prospects For 2003
 -by ScoutNFLNetwork.com  Feb 6, 2003

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