2015 NFL Draft: Top 5 Place Kickers

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Sep 14, 2013; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Louisiana Monroe Warhawks helmet lays on the sidelines during the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at BB&T Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

2. Justin Manton, Louisiana Monroe

Maybe most commonly picked as the top place kicker in the draft, Justin Manton is a very solid NFL kicking prospect. Highly touted by many; Manton was awarded the honor of being the South squad’s place kicker in the 2015 Senior Bowl. As a place kicker for Louisiana Monroe, Manton went 20 for 24 in field goal attempts during the 2014 season.

Manton even had an impressive long of 51 yards. At 6-3, 196 lbs. in terms of size and build, Manton grades very well as a future NFL place kicker. The one knock on Manton is his poor hang time on kick-offs (3.6 seconds). This to go along with ‘nothing  special’ place kicking leg strength, Manton doesn’t have the highest upside out of his fellow kicking prospects.

Plus in my opinion, there has to be a little skepticism in the idea that Manton can go straight from Louisiana Monroe to the NFL and not be rattled. All in all, I see Manton as a prospect with holes, but holes that can be filled. If Manton can add a little more kicking strength to his game he has a chance to be a great place kicker.

One thing for sure is assuming Manton doesn’t get rattled by the NFL pressure; he will be accurate in his range.  Maybe not quite the ‘high upside-high risk’ player that Brindza is, Manton should be more of a ‘sure thing’ even if that ‘sure thing’ isn’t quite as flashy. Expect to see Manton drafted in the 6th or 7th round.

Next: 1. Josh Lambo, Texas A&M