Saturday, April 25, 2009

Colts, Pats, 'Boys Look at McAfee

McAfee gets NFL attention
By Colin Dunlap
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 24, 2009

Pat McAfee is long on leg strength -- and confidence.

The West Virginia place-kicker and Plum native is on brink of being selected in this weekend's NFL draft. He's one of the top-rated kickers by most draft analysts and a projected late-rounder by some.

So, when asked, McAfee never wavered, figuring if he doesn't get drafted, there's still a spot for him in the NFL.

"I'm just staying even keel about all this," he said. "If I don't get drafted, hey, no big deal, man, I'll just have to go into a camp as a free agent and take someone's job from them. That is honestly the way I feel, so why not just say it like that?"

McAfee, 6 feet, 228 pounds, handled all three components of the kicking game at West Virginia last season -- punting, field-goal kicking and kickoff duties. And he excelled at all portions of the triumvirate, which have the NFL scouts intrigued.

A semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award -- presented to the nation's top punter -- he had a 44.7 yards per punt average, dropping 23 punts inside the 20 yard line. McAfee was also a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, given annually to the nation's top kicker after he went 17 for 20 in field goals, including 7 of 8 from beyond 40 yards, and also had eight touchbacks.

Some teams like him as a kickoff man, some like him as a place-kicker, where others have raved to his Pittsburgh-based agent Eddie Edwards about his punting.

The Indianapolis Colts extended one of their limited college prospect invitations -- rare for a kicker -- to McAfee a few weeks ago. He said the Colts, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys have been in contact with him most.
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