Player Ht Wt School Proj. Rd
1. Joe Adams 5-10 179 Arkansas 3rd/4th
Comment: He led the NCAA with four punt returns for touchdowns in 2011.
2. T.Y. Hilton 5-9 183 Florida International 4th/5th
Comment: He has run the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds and had six returns for touchdowns in his college career. The best combination kickoff and punt returner in the draft.
3. Drew Butler 6-1 203 Georgia 5th/6th
Comment: Won the Ray Guy award, which goes to the nation’s top punter, after leading the nation with a 48.1 yard average after the 2009 season. Averaged 44.5 yards per punt last season.
4. Brian Anger 6-3 208 California 6th/7th
Comment: He averaged 43.1 yards on 71 career punts.
5. Blair Walsh 5-9 187 Georgia 6th/7th
Comment: Has the big leg, but struggled with accuracy (21 of 35) on his field goal attempts last season.
Falcons need:The Falcons are set at punter with Matt Bosher and will try to get another solid year out of Matt Bryant, who turns 37 in May. A gaping hole on the special teams units was left with the departure of Eric Weems in free agency. The former Pro Bowler was the team’s top punt and kickoff returner for the past three seasons.
Others in need: Rams (6), Panthers (9), Cowboys (14), Texans (26), Ravens (29) and 49ers (30).
Comment:“T.Y. Hilton is the top returner. [Mark] Rogers from Cal-Poly is an excellent returner. Joe Adams is a phenomenal punt returner out of Arkansas. Some of the things he did were highlight-film material. . .Anger at Cal, I have as the top punter. Butler is the second highest rated punter. Shawn Powell of Florida State is third rated punter. . .I have Walsh as the third highest rated kicker. You have to look at the inconsistencies this year. He went from being a draftable guy to being an undrafted free agent. I think he’ll have a chance to compete for a job.”
–Mel Kiper, ESPN draft analyst who has been publishing the Mel Kiper Jr. Draft Report for 34 years.