Punters don't often get drafted, but that's not going to stop Bryan Anger from holding a draft party on Saturday. At this point, the question is not whether he'll get drafted but how soon someone will steal the nation's top punting prospect.
"I think I'm the top guy that's going to go," Anger said of his place among punters in the draft. "I'm pretty much guaranteed to get drafted."
In reality, there's no such thing. Over the past six years, teams have drafted an average of only two punters per year. Just one was taken in 2011. Teams usually prefer to wait until after the draft, then sign a free agent at the position.
But Anger and Cal special teams coach Jeff Genyk are convinced this year will be different.
Anger is the consensus No. 1 punter among a half-dozen online mock drafts, and both CBS Sports and NFL Draft Scout project him to go in the third or fourth rounds.
Genyk said one NFL special teams coach told him Anger is the best college punter prospect in nine years.
Genyk said the quality that has NFL teams interested is Anger's ability to adjust to the situation. He said that was a key to Cal improving to seventh nationally last fall in net team punting average.
"A lot of that was Bryan's willingness to not think about how far he could punt the ball, but strategically how he could punt it ... how high, hang time, away from returners," Genyk said. "I think he improved his stock with scouts. They could see he was able to modify his punts to suit the situation."
After the jump the mock drafts start trickling in and water polo alum Mike Sample saves a man from drowning in the Bay.
- How can the Buffalo Bills earn an A in the upcoming NFL Draft? Drafting Mychal Kendricks in the third round helps.
- Mel Kiper regrades the 2011 NFL Draft. Chris Conte was mentioned as Chicago's most productive pick while Cameron Jordan's limited success as a pass rusher makes Kiper wonder if his ceiling is not as high as initially thought.
- Faraudo has more draft profiles: Marvin Jones and Mychal Kendricks.
- Faraudo teamed up with Jon Wilner to create NFL Draft projections for all the Bay Area talent. They project Kendricks and Schwartz in the third round, Jones in the fourth, Anger in the seventh, and Trevor Guyton, D.J. Campbell, Ernest Owusu, and D.J. Holt as free agents.
- NFL.com projects all 253 picks in the draft. Mychal Kendricks (2nd round, 52nd overall) goes to Tennessee, Mitchell Schwartz (3rd round, 67th overall) joins Alex Mack in Cleveland, Trevor Guyton (4th round, 110th overall) heads south to San Diego, Marvin Jones (4th round, 122nd overall) heads to Nawlins, Bryan Anger (5th round, 143rd overall) goes to Carolina, D.J. Campbell (6th round, 183rd overall) becomes the second Bear drafted by San Diego, and Ernest Owusu (7th round, 242nd overall) is the seventh and final Bear drafted as he joins the New York Jets.
ProFootballWeekly has its list of top-100 draft prospects: Schwartz is 55, Kendricks is 61st (and called a "mighty mouse 'backer with NFL explosion"), Guyton is 88 (and called a "tough, consistent, dependable performer"), and Jones is 92. Both Kendricks and Guyton are deemed underrated compared to how well they will perform in the NFL.
- Pac-12 Network negotiations continue as the network is only four months from launch. Wilner has more on the network, including some hiring news and expected timelines for various announcements.
- Jolene Henderson won her third Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week Award of the season.
- Valerie Arioto broke her own single-season school record with her 20th homer of the season.
- Mike Sample was honored by the Red Cross for saving a man from drowning. Sample was on the Blue and Gold Ferry at Angel Island when he noticed a kayak had flipped over. Sample leapt into action and saved the man's life.
- Joan Caloiaro transferred from University of San Francisco to Cal. A two-year starter and WCC All-Freshman Team member, she will fit in finely according to Coach Feller.