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NFL

Kickers face tough draft odds

| Monday, April 28, 2014, 12:24 a.m.

The most common margin of victory in an NFL game is three points, yet the players often called upon to supply those points are among the most overlooked in the NFL Draft. Only two kickers were drafted in 2013, neither above the fifth round, and that's not an anomaly for punters, either. In 2011, only one kicker and one punter were chosen, and only two specialists have been drafted above the fourth round since 2005.

Despite the importance of having an uber-accurate kicker during an era when the NFL's field-goal accuracy rate has risen from 68.6 percent in 1986 to 86.5 percent last season, teams believe they can sign accurate kickers and long-distance punters as free agents.

The 2014 kickers and punters class likely will be no different, though there are some intriguing prospects. Rice kicker Christopher Boswell, for example, is a left-footed kicker capable of crossing up coverage's by kicking right-footed on onside kicks.

Former Penn State kicker Anthony Fera expects to land a job after going 22 of 26 on field goals the last two seasons for Texas; he was 14 of 17 during his lone season as Penn State's regular.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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