Recent events in the NFL have shown that you can’t scrimp on special teams players — just ask the Dallas Cowboys. While there’s bound to be a heavy focus on “skill” players in Mobile, don’t disrespect the top kickers and punters at the Senior Bowl. There’s a talented bunch of special teams weapons with the potential for several to be selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Top 2023 Senior Bowl Kickers and Punters NFL Draft Prospects
1) Adam Korsak, P, Rutgers
“Adam is the best punter that I’ve ever been around in 35 years. That’s a pretty big statement. I’ve been around a lot of them.”
They aren’t my words. They’re the words of Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano ahead of the 2022 college football season.
Do I agree with Schiano’s assessment of the Scarlet Knights’ special teams standout? I haven’t been around as many punters as Schiano, but Korsak is my top-ranked punter in the 2023 NFL Draft class and leads the top kickers and punters at the Senior Bowl.
Korsak is insanely consistent. Although he doesn’t boast the highest career-punt average in the class, his leg is strong enough to have delivered a career-long 79-yard strike with punts of over 70 yards in three of his five seasons in Piscataway.
Furthermore, his directional and positional accuracy and consistency is on another level. In 2021, he landed 52.7% of his punts inside the 20-yard line, with 42% of career attempts pinning opponents deep in their own territory. With NFL requisite snap-to-punt and hang times, Korsak has a bright NFL future.
2) Bryce Baringer, P, Michigan State
Ranking third in my list of the best punters in the 2023 NFL Draft, the inclusion of Bryce Baringer gives the Senior Bowl a good chunk of the top kickers and punters in the upcoming class. Despite his late introduction to the sport — he didn’t start punting until his junior season of high school — Baringer has established himself as one of the best at Michigan State.
Like Korsak, Baringer boasts good snap-to-punt and hang-time numbers, which should earn him significant NFL interest. Meanwhile, his booming leg and the consistency to punt with power meant that the Michigan State punter led the nation with 49.0 yards per punt. Baringer’s career-long of 78 yards is one of the longest amongst draft-eligible punters.
3) Chad Ryland, K, Maryland
While the two kickers at the Senior Bowl might not be at the very top of my kickers and punters in the 2023 NFL Draft, Maryland’s Chad Ryland gets a very honorable mention. The former Eastern Michigan kicker has some attractive qualities as a prospect that could attract attention in the draft or as a UDFA.
Where most people have a foot attached to their leg, Ryland has a bazooka. That’s allowed him to nail a 50-yard+ attempt in each season of his college football career. His career-long is 55 yards, while he hit a 53-yarder this season for the Terrapins. Although he holds multiple program records for EMU and Maryland, Ryland needs to demonstrate more consistency.
4) Jack Podlesny, K, Georgia
With Will Reichard returning to Alabama, Georgia kicker Jack Podlesny steps up as one of the top kickers and punters at the Senior Bowl. Podlesny has helped power the Bulldogs to successive national championships, but has he got an NFL future awaiting him? An eye-catching performance in Mobile would certainly help elevate his 2023 NFL Draft stock.
Podlesny was golden this year up to 40 yards, hitting 23 of 23 field goal attempts in that range. Meanwhile, he missed just one extra point attempt out of 74.
However, it fell apart for the Georgia kicker beyond 40 yards, missing five of his eight attempts. With a 53-yard long, he’s clearly got the goods in terms of power but needs to be more consistent. Meanwhile, three of his kickoff attempts this year landed out of bounds, which might prove concerning for NFL teams.
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