We were showing a little interest in Mesko a couple of weeks ago, so I thought why not start off one of the scouting reports today with the Romanian punter. Although drafting a punter is always controversial, and I'm not sure I want to see us go this way, but as far as the 6th/7th round goes, we might as well take a look at the best punter in the draft.
There is only a limited amount of areas that you can discuss with a punter, however it is worth noting that he was the first special teams player to be voted team captain at Michigan, he has also been a first team selection the last two years, and an all academic selection for the past four years. He holds the University of Michigan record for punts and punt yardage. He had 58 punts that travelled 50 yards or longer, and has a career long of 68.
2006- 50 punts, 41.6 average, 64 long, 2079 total punt yards, 17 downed inside 20 yard line
2007- 70 punts, 41.1 average, 68 long, 2876 total punt yards, 22 downed inside the 20
2008- 80 punts, 43.0 average, 63 long, 3436 total punt yards, 24 downed inside the 20
2009- 52 punts, 44.5 average, 66 long, 2312 total punt yards, 15 downed inside the 20
What Does Zoltan Mesko Do Well?
First of all his first name is Zoltan, New York editors should be campaigning for his selection, as the saying goes, the headlines write themselves. He has improved his average every single year, and he looked stronger each year. He has great size at 6-5 240lb. He has excellent control on his punts, rarely does he punt the ball into the end-zone. he has had just 6 touchbacks in two years compared to the 39 punts that have been downed inside the 20 yard line. Forced 18 fair catches in 2009 and 21 in 2008. Gets a decent hang time on his punts of around 4.3 seconds. Gets some excellent rotation on the ball, and returners sometimes have problems fielding his punts. Think how Graham used to boot them for the Jets, he gets the same side spin on it. Also sometimes wobbles his kicks to make it difficult for returners. Has been commended on his volunteer work over his 5 year career at Michigan (redshirted as a freshman). Can run on fake punts, remember him running a 4th down conversion against Notre Dame in 2008. Very good at adapting to bad snaps and getting the ball away.
What Does Zoltan Mesko Need To Work On?
Will need to work on his directional punts at the next level, has sometimes been known to line drive a punt that could cause trouble at the next level. Has long strides that could give him trouble against aggressive blocking units.
Zoltan looks like a good prospect, but kickers/punters are so temperamental, and some run so hot and cold, when you do find a good one though, he can be a great asset to the team. We really haven't had a good punter in a couple of years, so it would be nice to get that sorted at some point. Would I spend a 6th round pick on Zoltan, I probably would, but can understand completely when people say that it would be a waste. He gets some good hang time on his punts, and his ability to put it inside the 20, would be useful against this aggressive Rex Ryan defence, not many teams can march the ball 80+ yards against this unit, but give them a short field and it becomes a lot easier. A good punter is a defences best friend, and we are all about the defensive unit, so it would be worth taking a serious look at Zoltan in my opinion.
From the comedy department, sure you have all seen this if you are college football fans, but here is Zoltan getting run over by a stampede of blue:
Here is a look at his kicking motion: